Ex-Sunderland manager Gus Poyet delivers Championship promotion verdict - and has this Ross Stewart warning

Ex-Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has stated that promotion to the Premier League is “unrealistic” this season.

Sunderland have started the campaign well, gaining four points from their opening two games as they begin life in the second tier. Before the season had started, however, many pundits have picked the Black Cats as a potential surprise package for the top six.

Poyet, though, who managed the club in the Premier League between 2013 and 2015 believes Sunderland must be realistic.

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“It will be difficult for Sunderland to get promoted because the teams in the Championship are very strong,” Poyet said to Lord Ping. “Watford looked tremendous, Burnley as well with their coach [Vincent Kompany], Norwich too with their already proven Premier League players.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Gustavo Poyet arrives prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 30, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

“Sunderland should aim to stay in the Championship and then work towards finishing as high as possible. 14 teams out of 24 believe they can get promoted, which is unrealistic. Sunderland should not expect to get promoted this season.

“Expectations, when they are not reachable, will disappoint the club and the fans, Sunderland should ease their predictions for their own sake

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“The jump from League One to Championship is difficult, but Sunderland deserve to get back to where they belong in the Premier League, the whole city deserves it.”

Poyet also offered his thoughts on Sunderland’s talisman Ross Stewart and a potential future transfer if he continues to score goals this season.

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“If you come from League One and go to the Championship, then score 20 goals, you won't be in the Championship for long. A Premier League team will most likely sign him if that is the case.”