GUS Poyet admits he faces a dilemma trying to accommodate Ki Sung-Yeung and Lee Cattermole in the same side.
Former Black Cats’ skipper Cattermole is available for today’s game against Aston Villa after serving a three-game suspension.
But both he and the South Korean’s most effective position is in the holding midfield role and under the new head coach’s current 4-5-1 system, there’s space for only one such player in that formation.
Poyet is a big admirer of the differing qualities both players have to offer Sunderland, but in Cattermole’s absence Ki has really impressed and can be expected to keep his place at Villa Park today.
That won’t stop Poyet experimenting over the next few weeks if he can – looking to combine the silky touch of Ki with the steely determination of Cattermole.
“I think it would be great if they could play in the same side,” he told the Echo.
“I don’t know if they can, but I think it would be good if it was possible because they should complement each other beautifully.
“But I think really they would only play in a two man central midfield partnership.
“With Lee as the deep-lying man in front of the defence and Ki pushing further forward, I don’t think they would be so comfortable, I think Ki prefers to make his passes from deeper.
In Sunderland’s last two games, against Manchester City and Stoke, Poyet has used Ki in a deep-lying role with Seb Larsson and Jack Colback playing in front of him.
And that role has brought the best out of the on-loan Swansea man who is so comfortable on the ball – with much of Sunderland’s passing game flowing through him.
“That system has worked well for us,” said Poyet.
“It helped us win against Man City, and we were also doing OK at Stoke until we had Wes Brown sent off.”
Poyet will have to decide whether or not Cattermole can play a part further upfield in Sunderland’s next few games or whether to use him in certain matches and leave Ki on the bench if he feels a particular match merits it.
“It is something that we have to think about but it is nice to have options again,” he said.