GUS Poyet’s appointment as head coach at Sunderland has received a mixed reaction from players, pundits and fans.
The Uruguayan was yesterday unveiled as the successor to Paolo Di Canio who was sacked just five Premier League games into the season.
Poyet faces a mammoth task to keep Sunderland in the top flight after they took just one point from their opening seven matches.
The Black Cats are six points from safety at the foot of the table, and their only wins this season have come against League One opposition in the Capital One Cup.
Former Brighton boss Poyet’s first game will be a trip to Swansea City on October 19, before the Wearsiders welcome neighbours Newcastle United to the Stadium of Light for the Wear-Tyne derby on October 27.
Sunderland’s FA Cup-winning captain Bobby Kerr told the Echo: “I’m not sure how he’ll do but, as I’ve always said, you are only as good as your results and, hopefully, he will get the results to keep them up.”
Martyn McFadden, editor of fanzine A Love Supreme, says Poyet still has time to reverse the Black Cats’ fortunes this campaign.
“If we win the next two games it will make a massive difference,” said Martyn.
“It would be a really good launch pad with positive results.
“You get this situation at the start of the season where the national press hound after a manager and want them sacked, which is what happened with Di Canio.
“I’m pleased we brought somebody in, because the position we are in the league meant that we needed to bring someone in now.”
Editor of SAFC magazine Red-and-White-Lite Mal Robinson said: “He wasn’t my first choice I will admit, but he is here now and we need to get behind him, pull together and let us get off the bottom of the league.
“He is a gamble, but after Roy Keane, Ricky Sbragia, Steve Bruce and Paolo Di Canio down the years, we aren’t shy of taking a risk are we?
“I just hope he introduces the passing game we saw him employ at Brighton.”
What you thought of Poyet’s appointment
•Kevin Moor, 49, from Fulwell, is not very impressed with the appointment.
He said: “I’d prefer Kevin Ball. Poyet is not a Premiership manager.”
•Maria Cross, 37, also of Fulwell, agreed: “He’s not a proven Premiership manager and we need a Premiership manager to keep us up. He needs to get the players working as a team.”
•Bruce Adamson, 59, of Monkwearmouth, thinks Poyet has a tough job on his hands to improve the fortunes of the team.
“He’s got quite a job ahead of him. We need a manager to buy the right people and get the players on his side,” he said.
•John Wright, 60, from Fulwell, says it will be some achievement if Poyet prevents the Black Cats from being relegated.
He said: “We’ve always been a yo-yo club, so he’s got a hard job on his hands. I hope he’s the man for the job.”
•Derek Taylor, 58, of Roker is optimistic: “To me, he looks like the best we could get. I only want good things from the club, and I wish him all the best.”
•Michael Williams, 19, a Sunderland University student from Gateshead, thinks Paolo Di Canio should have stayed.
“He should have got more of a chance than he did,” said Michael.
•Paul Bonallie, 48, who lives in Monkwearmouth, said he was a fan of Di Canio, but wants to see fans behind the new man. “Di Canio wasn’t given the chance. I’ll give 100 per cent support to Poyet though, just like everybody else,” he said.
•Phil Cauwood, 37 of Fulwell, thinks the new manager needs to learn lessons from Paolo Di Canio’s time at the club.
Phil said: “Poyet’s a bit too much like Di Canio for me.”