SUNDERLAND boss Gus Poyet admits last Saturday’s spanking at Swansea was the rudest possible introduction to the harsh realities of managing in the Premier League.
And he says that the 4-0 defeat – the Black Cats’ biggest of the season – gave him plenty of food for thought ahead of this weekend’s Wear-Tyne derby.
“I did not have the Saturday night I was planning,” smiled the Uruguayan.
“I think it was worse on Sunday, to be honest. Not only do you have to start watching Newcastle, you also have to re-check the game that we played the day before – so it was not an easy Sunday.
“I wouldn’t wish that Sunday on any manager.
“That showed that something went really bad. But it’s how it is and I can’t pick and choose at the moment.
“We got a good feeling on Monday, though, that we were improving.
“You can only ask the players one thing, to go out and give everything they’ve got.
“Are they good enough or not?
“Time will tell.
“But their attitude has been fantastic.
“I know what happened in the game – especially the second goal because it came so quickly – but we are working on that to make sure it doesn’t happen again; to play the game a bit more cleverly and intelligently.”
While Poyet suffered after Saturday’s result, he knows that – more importantly – his players suffered too and that is something he has to pay attention to. “I think Sunday and Monday was hard for them,” he said.
“They were excited about a new manager coming and at half-time they were thinking ‘away from home, we had a chance from Fletch and we had a couple of breaks’.
“They were in a good place, but we forgot there were still 45 minutes to play in the second half.
“We did things right and improved a few things in the game overall, but then we did things that I didn’t expect – which were very, very wrong and we need to improve on those.
“The good thing, though, is that we are talking things through and working on them and I can see that the players are feeling better by the day, which is important.
“We have to learn lessons from Swansea – that’s important too – and we have to take those lessons into this weekend’s game.”