GUS Poyet has revealed he will name a stronger side against Southampton tomorrow, following the postponement of the midweek match against Manchester City.
The head coach had planned sweeping changes for this weekend’s FA Cup fifth round tie against the Saints.
And he still intends to makes changes so he can field the attacking talents of Ignacio Scocco and Emanuele Giacherrini.
But after the game against City was called off on Wednesday because of bad weather, he has had a change of heart about his starting line-up this Saturday.
“The postponement changed my plans, no doubt,” he admitted.
“It’s a totally different situation now with no game midweek, so it will be a totally different team.
“Normally you don’t put out the same team on Saturday that you put out on Wednesday but we didn’t play a game Wednesday so I have to bear that in mind.
“It gives me a chance to name a stronger side than I would have but I will still make changes though. “We have a larger squad, a first-team squad and I’m happy with players coming in and out of the team.
“Giacchy needs to play football and we need to help Ignacio feel the pace of the English game.
“I’m sure he’ll be surprised at the speed – in the first 10 minutes he’ll be thinking ‘oh my god!’ – but he needs to get used to it and this is an opportunity for him.”
Sunderland have yet to lose to Southampton in three encounters this season, but Poyet reckons this could be the toughest clash yet.
“I like the way Southampton play and I know how difficult it is to play against them,” he said.
“I’m expecting a great challenge. It’s a great opportunity for a few of the players and I’m looking forward to it.
“I think Southampton have their own style, they make movements on the pitch that no other teams do.
“And they have some great young players who will be very important for the future of English football.
“I think they will field a strong team in the cup – though I hope I’m wrong!
“But I think their manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to prove that playing the way he plays they can entertain and be in the top 10.
“They are a side which I think will finish well and could well be pushing for the top six by the end of it.”Twitter @sunechograeme