Sunderland’s Larsson: I’ve got a good feeling for Gus

Seb Larsson.
Seb Larsson.
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SEB LARSSON is excited at the prospect of working under Gus Poyet after speaking to the new Sunderland head coach within hours of his appointment.

Larsson is in Sweden preparing for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Germany which will determine whether the Scandinavians can secure a play-off spot for next summer’s tournament in Brazil.

But the midfielder has already come into contact with Poyet after the new Black Cats boss telephoned him on Tuesday morning to outline his plans for taking the club off the Premier League’s basement.

Larsson said: “I talked to him on Tuesday morning.

“I cannot say I know him, but I know what he has done in the past and the football he stood for when he was working at Brighton.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him and working with him after playing for the national team,

“He was a very talented footballer himself who did a very, very good job at Brighton.

“The football he stood for was great fun to watch and I met him once or twice when he was a coach there.

“It seems that he stands for an exciting philosophy.”

Larsson’s campaign has been a stop-start one so far, with the 28-year-old in and out of the side, as well as alternating between a central and wide midfield role.

The former Birmingham man was confined to a substitute’s role in caretaker manager Kevin Ball’s final game in charge against Manchester United last Saturday, while he was left out completely for the last chapter of Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland tenure at West Brom.

And now that Sunderland’s managerial search has been resolved, Larsson hopes he can secure a regular role in the starting XI.

“It’s always up to the manager over who picks the team,” said Larsson, who will be in contention to start Poyet’s first game in charge at Swansea, with fellow midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung ineligible to face his parent club next weekend.

“Some managers like to tinker more than others, but that’s up to them.

“I don’t think anyone relaxes and thinks ‘I’m going to be in the team for sure’.

“We’ve got quite a few players now and most of them are fit and wanting to play a part.

“There’s a pressure of playing well and getting points, otherwise someone else is there to take your spot and rightly so.

“Hopefully, on a personal level, I can settle down into one position and know what the manager wants from me.

“The last sort of year has been a little bit frustrating at times with moving about and not always knowing what the manager wants from you and what he’s asking for you to do.

“Hopefully, for the rest of the season, I’ll have a clear idea of what he (Poyet) wants from me on a personal level and I can start producing some decent performances.”