Poyet ready to wield the axe

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet
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GUS POYET is prepared to sacrifice Sunderland’s big names to inject some cohesion into the Black Cats’ ranks.

Head coach Poyet will make changes from Sunderland’s stalemate at Burnley last weekend, for tomorrow’s visit of Swansea, as the Wearsiders continue their search for a first Premier League win of the campaign.

Poyet has already indicated that Billy Jones and Will Buckley – who both impressed in the midweek Capital One Cup defeat to Stoke – will keep their places, while Jordi Gomez and Ricky Alvarez are also in contention.

And with Sunderland yet to convince in their performances this season, Poyet admits there may be some shock omissions from his starting XI.

“The biggest problem is I need all the players to stand up,” said Poyet. “The big, big players.

“The ones who have played at the highest level or cost a lot of money, not the one we brought from Brighton (Buckley).

“I think it’s close to a moment when I’m going to have to make a bit stronger decisions and go with what I think will get victory and not what is expected.

“Against Spurs, I was honest and said that’s why you pay £30million for a player – for someone who is better technically than you, quicker than you and stronger than you.

“But, at Burnley, it should have been the opposite way around.

“I didn’t see that and it’s happened too many times.

“I’m responsible. I make the changes and then the players need to take responsibility individually first and as a team afterwards.

“There are things we all need to improve.

“It’s not as simple as people think.

“It’s not just a case of ‘he is better than someone else’.

“The team might perform better with the ones who are not as good individually.

“You need to find the right balance.”

Unlike Sunderland, Swansea have started the season with a bang – winning three of their five league games and coasting past Everton in the cup on Tuesday night.

But Poyet believes that, despite the inexperience of opposite number Garry Monk, Swansea have reaped the rewards from having a settled philosophy during their three-and-a-bit years in the Premier League.

“Other teams have had a system and a core group of players playing a certain way, and getting close to being successful,” added Poyet.

“That helps. When you add good players to those teams, it’s very easy to adapt.

“We’ve been kind of re-starting. Every year you kind of start again, which is not that easy and takes a bit of time.

“Of course, we need to be calm and know we are better than in the past.

“But there is a time when you need to get better for the fans and everybody who is coming to watch you.

“We are definitely going in the right direction.

“But, of course, we’re trying to do it as soon as possible.”

* Don’t miss tomorrow’s online Football Echo – for the best coverage of Sunderland v Swansea, plus much more. It’s available on this website from 7pm tomorrow