IN the wake of Sunderland’s most memorable derby win since the last one, Gus Poyet gave an insight into the changes made behind the scenes as the Uruguayan looks to halt a club in free-fall.
“We’ve done two or three things since we arrived,” he revealed.
“First of all the players – we’ve talked to them and we’ve searched for solutions in terms of what we need to do – when to drop and give space to the opposition, when to press.
“And then sometimes the manager has to do something to help lead the way, to help show them the way to go.
“There are ways you can help.
“You can help in training, you can help in selection, you can help in formation.
“I didn’t want to make changes for the sake of it and initially I left it a little bit to see the reaction.
“And now we have changed completely the shape of things – we left out Ki who is such a good player and went with Lee Cattermole, we went for two strikers up front.”
Poyet didn’t claim to be a master tactician or a brilliant psychologist; more that he understood things had to change in order to get the best out of players who he senses might be good enough to keep Sunderland up but need to find their focus
“Today worked against Newcastle,” he mused. “So OK, you can say we did the right things.
“But it is up to the players – sometimes they don’t realise how important they are, how much comes down to them. No one is more important than them.
“It doesn’t matter how many changes you make, you have to have to have players who believe.”
Now, Poyet is hoping that his players can build further on this fantastic result and make it the start of something special.
“There is happiness and relief in the dressing room,” he said.
“It is everything you can put together in a very special time in a very special place.
“And I’m looking forward to seeing the players on Tuesday – you will see the difference straight away.
“It has not been easy for them. You sometimes wonder about things.
“When you are having meetings, when you are talking, when you are on the bus and there is just silence – you don’t know whether that silence is concentration or nerves.
“But when you get a win like this, when something special happens, it changes things.
“And now you know there is positivity, now you know you have something to build on.”