GUS Poyet says that he expects everyone at Sunderland Football Club to fight to the finish to keep the club in the Premier League.
And he says he is watching out for signs from anyone in his squad who might be in danger or giving up and giving in.
He told the Football Echo: “We are in a relegation battle, everyone says it’s a relegation battle and I don’t mind them calling that because that’s EXACTLY what it is.
“Me? I want us to focus on that second word: “ battle”.
“It’s a relegation battle: we battle!
“That’s our job.
“Let’s battle all the way.”
Poyet is planning not only for this season, but for the future – and while his squad might be radically different if Sunderland are in the Championship next season, compared to the Premiership, he says he still wants the same sort of characters at the club regardless of the division Sunderland are playing in.
“It has been a long month,” he said. “I feel I have learned a lot about my players and a lot of my team selection has been based on players I feel I know now and players I can rely on to do a job for this club.
“We need players who are going to give their all in every game and that remains the same whatever division we are in.”
Now Poyet says he needs players who have the spirit for the fight and the desire to pull off what would be an unlikely Premier League survival mission.
Sunderland are bottom tonight following Fulham’s victory at Aston Villa.
“I think the situation is simple,” said Poyet.
“No-one can see any of the the bottom four or five teams winning three games – that’s fine, that’s understandable – so you have to go against that, and win three games.
“You have to just go out there and do it.
“I understand what people think, and that’s OK, but if I was playing, I would love to go out there and prove them wrong.
“We have to gout and win a few games but we cannot get think too far ahead – the most important game is the next one.
“There’s no point in focusing on what comes after the next game, so let’s concentrate on Spurs on Monday evening and look to start turning things around by doing well in that game.”
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