Poyet tells Sunderland: I’m your man

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet
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GUS Poyet believes the fact he speaks several languages can only enhance his prospects of getting the Sunderland job, given the club’s League of Nations squad.

Paolo Di Canio has left the club with the greatest number of nationalities of any club in the Premier League and admitted before his departure that communication was a problem in the wake of recruiting 13 out of 14 signings from overseas this summer.

That’s an area in which the multi-lingual Poyet will be comfortable and the would-be Sunderland coach hopes that the will count in his favour as Ellis Short mulls over whether or not appoint another manager with no Premier League experience.

Black Cats director of football Roberto De Fanti is thought to favour Poyet, but Sunderland are taking their time in considering various options, with former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen and Basle manager Murat Yakin the latest to be linked with the club.

But Uruguayan Poyet believes that the ability to converse with the players in their own language will help put himself and the likes of Gianfranco Zola in pole position for the job after ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo effectively ruled himself out.

Former Brighton manager Poyet revealed, in an interview with South American radio station Sport 890, that he had spoken to Di Matteo: “I called him and said “Really, are you interested?’ and he said ‘No.’ I said ‘Good, thank you. One less!’

“Another was Gianfranco Zola.

“It’s a team with lots of backroom staff and scouting staff from Italy.

“It was possible it would have been easier to go down that line, for the understanding between people from the same country.

“It’s a new team, very international, and it would be convenient for the new person to speak various languages.

“You wouldn’t need to have translators continually.

“That is something that helps me, because I have that ability.

“But there are things that go against me, for example the fact that I’ve never managed in the Premier League.

“If one day you coach in the Premier League without having previously managed and it’s your first job and it doesn’t go well, generally they accuse you of not having worked at the lower level and taken the right steps required to reach the top.

“But it has to be one way or the other. It can’t be that when you have taken all the steps – been assistant to different managers, been manager yourself and improved year after year in the team you were with, that you can’t then have a chance at a higher level,

“That is illogical.”

Poyet hopes to hear by the start of next week whether he will get the Sunderland job as the Black Cats take their time to find the right replacement for Di Canio.

But he has admitted that this is the job opportunity he has waiting for since leaving Brighton at the end of last season.

The 45-year-old said: “When I left Brighton, I thought I would be in England until at least January.

“I planned that, over the first matches of this season, I would pay a lot of attention to the teams I thought could be in trouble.

“Of course, I watch Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester, but there was a group of teams who, if they didn’t start well, I thought I could have a chance.

“I was watching Sunderland a lot.

“People were talking a lot about them in the summer because of Paolo and how many new players they had.

“So I’ve seen quite a lot of them.”

Poyet believes the Black Cats have a squad which could finish comfortably mid-table this season and is desperate to be the manager who gets them there, knowing his best job opportunity lies in taking on a failing Premier League and turning them around.

He said: “England is where I have made my name, so I planned to wait for a chance in the Premier League until, for example, January.

“In general, managers start to lose their jobs in October and November.

“With Di Canio, it has happened a bit quicker.

“I thought ‘If I’m going to get a chance it will be in October, November, December’.

“If December comes and nothing happens, if four or five teams have changed manager and I haven’t been close, I would look outside of England.

“But what has happened with Sunderland is confirmation that I wasn’t too far wrong.”

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