GUS POYET insists Sunderland outcast Cabral should not be sent into exile, just because the Black Cats have been unable to offload the midfielder.
Cabral has not featured for Sunderland’s first-team since August 2013, with the Black Cats’ efforts to move on the 26-year-old coming to nought during the summer after he spent the second half of last season on loan at Serie A outfit Genoa.
The former FC Basle man, signed on a Bosman deal by ex-director of football Roberto De Fanti, attracted interest from the Russian league, but with no concrete move materialising, he has remained on Wearside and was an unused substitute for the injury-hit Black Cats in the 8-0 humiliation at Southampton.
Sunderland boss Poyet has made it clear that Cabral is not in his plans after he wasn’t even given a shirt number at the start of the season, and the club will again attempt to offload him in the January window.
But with Cabral under contract at the Stadium of Light until the summer of 2016, Poyet says it would be wrong to leave him training with the kids, while his attitude remains positive.
Poyet told the Echo: “It’s clear that Cabral had a few options, but at the end they couldn’t finalise.
“It looked like he was going to go somewhere, but he’s under contract.
“I always say that when these situations arise, I don’t think it’s right to make someone responsible.
“We signed the player for a reason.
“Then it doesn’t work under the new manager, but you’re not going to put a gun to his head and say ‘leave the football club’.
“I’m not that type of person.
“He’s a great lad and a great professional.
“I’m making the decision that he’s not playing. It’s not his fault, it’s me.
“Can he go in January? I don’t know.
“I thought he would have been one of the easiest ones to deal with in the summer.”
Poyet has shown in the past that he is willing to ostracise out-of-favour players if they begin to sulk after Andrea Dossena was released early from his contract before the end of last season.
But Cabral has remained upbeat, with the Cape Verde Islands international even asking to play a part for Sunderland Under-21s.
“If he trains properly and is professional, he’s with us, because he’s a first-team player,” added Poyet.
“Now, if there’s anyone - and I’m talking about anyone - that I think it’s better not to train with us, then he won’t.
“But at the moment, Cabral has been great.
“He’s been asking to play in the reserves, so why are you going to put him over there (training with the kids)?
“But that doesn’t mean he’s going to play.”