GUS POYET believes the Premier League’s rules on goalkeeper loans should be relaxed, even if it benefits Sunderland in this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.
Sunderland will look to take advantage of a rookie between the sticks for Newcastle tomorrow, with Jak Alnwick, brother of ex-Black Cats stopper Ben Alnwick, expected to make only his fourth competitive appearance for the Magpies.
Newcastle had been considering appealing to the Premier League to bring in a keeper on an emergency loan after an injury scare for Alnwick in Wednesday’s League Cup thrashing at Spurs, only for the 21-year-old to shake off the problem.
But regardless of front-line stoppers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot being injured, the indications from the Premier League were that Newcastle had to cope with what they had available, with 17-year-old Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow – on loan at Nottingham Forest – also on the club’s books.
It’s a situation similar to one Sunderland faced last season when rookie Joel Dixon was on the bench for the League Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, with injured Keiren Westwood and cup-tied Jordan Pickford both unavailable.
Sunderland head coach Poyet sympathises with opposite number Alan Pardew and believes there should be more flexibility in bringing in a new stopper in an emergency.
Poyet told the Echo: “I’ve had that feeling. When the goalkeeper goes for a cross and you are more tense than the goalkeeper.
“That’s football and that’s the rules. Do we agree? I don’t.
“And this one is for me, not against.
“I had the same feeling last year.
“You cannot start a season with four or five goalkeepers of a certain age.
“Then if you don’t give a professional contract to a 17-year-old, he goes somewhere else and you lose him.
“You are a little bit between two minds.
“You have to be very unlucky to have two goalkeepers injured at the same time and nearly three.
“You can’t expect that.
“He’s (Alnwick) one of the three goalkeepers at the club so he should be good enough to play.
“But without him, it’s a difficult situation with a 17-year-old.”
Poyet admits that before Sunderland boosted their goalkeeping ranks last January with the short-term signing of Oscar Ustari, the Black Cats had been exploring the possibility of bringing in a new stopper in case of injury to Vito Mannone.
But like Newcastle, they were given the impression from the Premier League that their bid would be turned down with Dixon and teenager Maksymilian Stryjek both on professional terms at the Stadium of Light.
“We had a similar feeling here last year when we went into the Chelsea game with Joel on the bench,” added Poyet.
“We were already in talks, if something happened with Vito.
“But the Premier League came back to us and said we had Max, a 17-year-old professional.
“Luckily nothing happened.
“It’s a situation that everyone of course will look into this weekend, without anything crazy, unfair or over-prepared.
“For him (Alnwick) it’s going to be a special day.”