Poyet: Ball is bringing me up to speed on Sunderland squad

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GUS POYET says former caretaker boss Kevin Ball is bringing him up to speed with Sunderland’s squad.

Under-21 coach Ball was a rival to Poyet in the race to become the new Sunderland head coach after the ex-Black Cats skipper made no secret of his desire to manage the club on a permanent basis.

Gus Poyet

Gus Poyet

But in his opening press conference as Sunderland boss today, Poyet insisted he was still hoping for the Black Cats to pick up points during Ball’s stewardship.

And the Uruguayan, who has penned a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light, has praised Ball for the information he has provided on his first day in the job.

Poyet said: “He’s been excellent with me and I will need him to help me a lot.

“People think that my only chances of getting the job were if we lost.

“But that was not the case.

“Back home, I was supporting Sunderland. I was hoping for them to get three points because it’s better to start with four points than one.

“If it wasn’t me, then it wasn’t me. But at the end of the day, you want to be in the best position. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.

“You couldn’t fault the commitment of the players with the help of Kevin Ball.”

Poyet took training at the Academy of Light today for the first time, but had a depleted squad at his disposal, with nine players away on international duty.

But he knows from experience that those playing for their countries will quickly discover about his plans for the Black Cats.

“Players talk to each other a lot and they become friends,” added Poyet.

“I’m sure they’ll go home today and call the ones who are on international duty and tell them what they think about me and the staff.

“The sooner they start passing on information and talking about it, then for me that’s good.

“The players will already know something (when they get back) and we can increase that information every day.”