EVEN though Gus Poyet is on the verge of accepting that Sunderland are going down this season, he admits his side’s performances keep tempting him with hopes of the impossible dream.
In their last two games, Sunderland have arguably been the better side against Champions League chasing Everton and title hopefuls Manchester City.
They finished the first game in defeat, when they deserved a draw at least, and last night’s second match taking a point when they were in touching distance of all three.
And Poyet says that those performances must at least give Sunderland hope going into their next daunting fixture, against the Uruguayan’s former side Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“It was an excellent performance by us against City,” acknowledged Poyet after watching a Connor Wickham brace take Sunderland to a 2-1 in the 83rd minute, only for Samir Nasri to level in the 88th.
“It’s the sort of performance which is going to give us that word that I absolutely hate – which is ‘confidence’.
“I don’t like using that word that, but it is true: given as well as we played against City, it will give us a bit of hope against Chelsea this weekend.
“I think now the players will believe they might get something.
“We need to believe it is possible.
“Playing like we did against City – going forward, passing the ball, heading the ball – we have hope, when we play like that.
“We played a great game – we deserved something for the game.
“I thought for a few minutes we were getting the three.
“But you need to realise where we are.
“I think everyone was expecting us to concede five or six on the night.
“But we didn’t because we don’t give up or give in – because the players appreciate what they need to do for the fans.”