GUS POYET subscribes to the theory that longevity in the dug-out corresponds with success, ahead of Sunday’s head-to-head with Alan Pardew.
Sunderland were the first top flight club to change managers last season after Poyet was appointed to replace Paolo Di Canio, when the Black Cats cast adrift at the basement.
But with a winner of the sack race yet to emerge this season, this is the longest start to a campaign in Premier League history without a club wielding the axe.
Sunderland’s last and next fixtures have been against clubs whose managers have been revitalised over recent weeks.
West Ham, who drew 1-1 at the Stadium of Light last weekend, have risen to fourth in the table after boss Sam Allardyce’s position was under severe scrutiny during the summer.
And after a campaign on Tyneside earlier in the season calling for Pardew’s head, the Newcastle boss has guided the Magpies to six wins from their last nine Premier League games.
Poyet said: “I’ve got no doubt that it shows the value of patience.
“I don’t think a team has been as bad as they were last season though.
“We didn’t have a team with one point after seven games, or four like Crystal Palace.
“We’ve not seen a team that has really been bottom of the league bad, away from the rest. Everyone is there together and that makes things a bit easier.
“I think it’s nice as well.
“In the lower leagues, there have been too many.
“It’s true that it’s common sense. If you want to create something you need time.
“But I understand the other side of the coin. You cannot have time if something is so bad.”
However, Poyet believes that if the remaining three games of 2014 leave any clubs cast adrift in the relegation zone, then the patience of chairmen may begin to ebb away.
“I think the next three games are key,” he added.
“If we all want to survive, then we all need to get something from these games.
“If a team stays down then the risk comes back.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland Under-21s are in action tonight at the Stadium of Light in their second group game in the Premier League International Cup.
The Black Cats take on Celtic (kick-off 7pm) after drawing against Spanish side Villarreal last week.
Entry is free for season card holders tonight, while general sale tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.