Poyet sets point target for Sunderland

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
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GUS POYET wants Sunderland to DOUBLE their points tally by the end of 2013.

Sunderland have taken seven points from Poyet’s seven league games in charge after mustering just a solitary point from the opening seven games of the campaign.

But ahead of today’s visit of Spurs, Sunderland were five points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League table, while boasting the worst goal difference in the top flight.

Head coach Poyet has been wary of setting his side any points targets since taking over at the Stadium of Light two months ago.

But the Uruguayan has now revealed he is eyeing a minimum of eight points from the five remaining games before the turn of the year, which marks the halfway point of the campaign.

Poyet told the Echo: “I think we need to have at least double what we have now.”

“Our last game of 2013 is at Cardiff on December 28 and that is the halfway point in the season.

“The game against Aston Villa (on New Year’s Day) will be the first game of the second half of the season.

“I want us to go into that game with at least 16 points - more, if possible.

“If we could win three of our next five games and get to 17 points before the end of the year, I would be very happy.

“But if we don’t get to 16 points by then, it is going to be very hard because we would only have 19 games left and we would need to get a lot more points in the second half of the season than we did in the first.”

Sunderland face games against fellow strugglers West Ham and Norwich after today’s clash, before trips to Everton and Cardiff over the festive period.

And Poyet believes that if Sunderland can hit their 16-point target after that run of games, they will be well-placed to beat the drop.

“The idea is to go and win three games now,” he added.

“If we do that, we will have reached my target.

“But if we are still on eight or 10 points by the end of December, we will have more than a mountain to climb - it will be huge.

“I knew it was going to be tough (when he took the job) and I took the chance.

“If we can get to those numbers, then we need to get another 23 points or so from the last few games.

“If we can do alright in the January window too, I’m 100 per cent convinced that it’s possible.”