Sunderland boss still pondering best XI

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
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DESPITE Sunderland’s win against Newcastle United on Sunday, boss Gus Poyet says he is still trying to work out what his best starting XI is.

The Black Cats’ side he selected at the weekend delivered Sunderland’s first Premier League victory of the season in defeating their derby rivals.

And it would be no surprise if the new head coach keeps faith with the same line-up for this Saturday’s game at Hull City.

But Poyet (left) says he is still at the stage of assessing the strengths and merits of the squad he inherited earlier this month.

“It’s difficult not to know your best team at this stage of the season. There’s no doubt about that and I’m not hiding from it,” he confessed.

“The best team, on paper, hasn’t performed for some reason.

“To defend myself a little bit, I would say that you pick your best team probably when you’re working after five or six weeks of pre-season.

“If you get to the first game then, and you still don’t know your best XI, then you have problems as a manager. It’s not a problem for the players, they will just get on with it.

“But I’ve only trained a few days with the whole squad, so I can’t say I definitely know our best side – it’s not an excuse, it’s common sense.”

Poyet though has promised that he will be up to speed as soon as possible as he works his hardest to ensure the green shoots of recovery continue to grow.

“I need to sort it out exactly how the team will develop,” he said.

“We’re checking it and making very important decisions on picking the team – massive decisions.

“People probably won’t understand, but we are here every day, seeing things and seeing what we want.

“We’ll make decisions sometimes that people maybe won’t understand – big decisions.

“I’m not saying we are going to pick an Under-15 for the first team or anything like that.

“But we have got 25 players in the team now, plus two goalkeepers, so we have plenty of options and I will take whichever option I feel is the best to win us a game.”