GUS Poyet hailed his side’s performance at Villa Park this weekend as the best away from home in his brief reign so far.
And he expressed his relief that for once Sunderland were involved in a game which was not mired in controversy or confusion.
“It was our best performance away from home without a doubt,” he said.
“Why? Because we made it difficult for Villa, we were brave on the ball, we tried to play it the right way.
“And on top of that we created three or four really good chances.
“For a a team down at the bottom, playing away from home at Villa Park, I didn’t think we did too bad.
“Now though, I want to see that from the players every week – we have to set that as our standard because it is clear that we can play at that level, keep a clean sheet and get something out of the game and also be good enough to win it.”
As much as anything though, the head coach was just pleased to have a normal game of football when the discussion points were purely about the game itself.
“I did not notice the referee in the game,” he mused. “So he was a good referee!
“When you come away from the game and no one is talking about the referee, it’s a sure sign that you’ve had a good referee.
“And I have to say I’m relieved to have had this sort of game away from home rather than the ones like we had at Swansea, Hull and Stoke.
“All I asked for before the game was an ‘ordinary’ game,” he smiled. “And there’s no complaints from me that I got one.
“It might have been a game without goals but it was also a game without red cards and a game without own goals and for that, I’m thankful.”