GUS POYET believes Sunderland’s fortunes over the next fortnight could determine whether they can land their main targets in the January window.
Sunderland head to fourth-bottom West Ham tomorrow looking to get back in touch with their relegation rivals after falling five points adrift at the Premier League’s basement.
Poyet has made it clear that he wants to improve Sunderland’s survival chances by adding to the squad during the January transfer window, with Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt – who worked under Poyet at the Amex Stadium – one player who continues to be linked with a move to the Stadium of Light.
But the head coach realises that if Sunderland remain rooted to the foot of the table at the start of 2014, with little hope of remaining in the Premier League, then those potential new arrivals could decide to look elsewhere.
Poyet told the Echo: “If I look at Sunderland as a team now and then I look at them after a win on Saturday, then it’s a different Sunderland.
“But if we don’t move forwards, then maybe a few of them (transfer targets) will say ‘well, no’.
“It’s not only about money.
“If we had £40million and we were going to buy my mate (fellow Uruguayan) Mr Luis Suarez. Is he going to stay at Liverpool or coming here?
“He’s a good friend, but we’re not that close!”
If Sunderland remain cast adrift, it is also likely to affect the club’s transfer budget during the window.
“I would imagine so,” was Poyet’s guarded answer.
But despite Sunderland’s relegation worries, the Black Cats have managed to keep an eye on the transfer market and are making progress over possible new arrivals.
Poyet met with director of football Roberto De Fanti and chief scout Valentino Angeloni last month to discuss his initial hopes in the window and the Uruguayan is continually discussing transfer progress with the pair, despite the demands of the relegation battle.
“It’s been tiring,” added Poyet.
“We’ve been preparing the game, concentrating on the players and doing training.
“Then there is some time in the afternoon when we have meetings, talk about players and positions.
“You go home, but then the next morning is training and in the afternoon, more meetings because we’re getting close (to January) and we need to start moving forwards.
“Then things happen and change (in the market) all the time. It’s incredible and fans wouldn’t believe how quickly things can happen.”