GUS Poyet did not seek to dress up Saturday’s long, drawn-out win over Kidderminster Harriers as anything other than it was, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
“It was not a classic. No?” he smiled ruefully, having seen Sunderland labour to a needlessly tortuous victory over the Conference side.
And for once, he revealed, he would be scrapping his usual routine of studying a Sunderland game in depth, feeling a side featuring two debutants and a string of fringe players had done the best they could in challenging circumstances.
“I was worried about the start of the game before kick-off, so I was pleased to see us get a goal and get ahead,” noted the Uruguayan as Sunderland recorded a seventh cup win of the season.
“The best part of the game for us was undoubtedly the first 20 minutes or so – after that it became difficult.
“The players, they tried, but they didn’t really know each other. And the longer the game went on, they found themselves having to make decisions, but there wasn’t the connection there that they needed, the understanding between the players.
“So we need to accept it for what it was.
“I’m not going to watch the game again and I’m not going to analyse it too much because I don’t think it’s important, apart from the fact quite a few of our players got 90 minutes and that will be useful.”
He rejected the suggestion that it was a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s Show”.
“I don’t think we had a cup hangover because we started well,” the former Brighton manager pointed out.
“It was a very good start. We tried, we were quick, we were aggressive, but then we faded and it became boring, very boring, difficult to watch.
“But credit to Kidderminster too.
“They gave everything and put great effort in and, even though they could not get a draw, they could be proud of what they achieved.”