GUS POYET says Sunderland have to throw everything into their game against Manchester City on Wednesday night in a bid to put the double disappointment against Hull City out of their minds.
For the second time in a row on Saturday, Sunderland failed to finish with 11 men against Hull as Steve Bruce’s side completed the double over the Wearsiders.
But Poyet says this is no time for Sunderland to feel sorry for themselves after working so hard to get themselves out of the relegation zone.
“We have to perform on Wednesday to show that Hull was a one-off,” he said.
“It will be difficult.
“But we have to be strong, we have to be difficult to beat.
“We have to not give away any presents and we have to look to be positive.
“It’s important to put this behind us and get back to producing the good performances we have done previously.”
In the early days of his four months in charge of the club, Poyet frequently bemoaned the fact that Sunderland were not playing “normal” games – that players were being sent off, that own goals were conceded, that unexpected setbacks were occurring.
There have been plenty of “normal” games in Sunderland’s recent revival, but Saturday against Hull – Wes Brown sent off just three minutes into the game – was a throwback to those bad, old, early days at the helm.
“I don’t like games with massive accidents, and that’s for either side,” Poyet muttered.
“I like a normal game of football – 11 versus 11 – two teams testing themselves to see who is the best.
“But this was unexpected – everything changed and the whole game was upside down – it wasn’t easy for us.
“We don’t expect to win every game or lose every game, but if you give something away it’s difficult to recover and that was the case here.”
Poyet’s regret was made all the worse by the fact that he had had such complete faith in his squad before kick-off. Before the game, the team was in as good a shape as I have seen all season,” he said.
“It just shows you cannot predict in football.
“Look at Liverpool v Arsenal this weekend – Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1 – could you have predicted that?
“It’s football and this was football.
“Things were set up for us but then something happens and then everything changes.”
Manchester City – who will meet Sunderland again in next month’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley – go into Wednesday’s match having not scored in successive matches, with the 0-0 weekend draw at Norwich following their 1-0 home loss to title rivals Chelsea.