GUS POYET was often a crestfallen figure in the aftermath of each defeat which sent Sunderland tumbling closer to the relegation abyss last season.
The Uruguayan had inherited a questionable set of players and no matter if the damage had predominantly been done by others, he still felt a sense of responsibility for the club’s precarious position.
But after Sunderland suffered their first loss of the campaign, at Loftus Road on Saturday, Poyet cut a far more upbeat figure.
Poyet predictably rued Sunderland’s inability go in at half-time all square after Charlie Austin’s strike seconds before the interval – following a sustained spell of QPR pressure – proved to be the only goal of the game.
But the Sunderland boss took a philosophical stance; insisting his side needed to take the 1-0 loss on the chin after playing in the manner which he wants to see from the Black Cats under his stewardship.
“We need to take this,” said Poyet.
“We lost, but that was my team and that’s the thing which makes me calm and happy.
“We threw everything and took risks. We went for it and put our goalkeeper in the box three or four times.
“On another day, you score and everybody will be happy because it was coming.
“But the goal changed the game.
“We gave QPR the chance to play the second half in a different way, which helped them to defend in the way they defended.”
However, Poyet did rue Sunderland’s inability to profit from an opening 25-minute spell where the Black Cats dominated a QPR side who had come away empty-handed from the first two Premier League games.
“I don’t know whether it was over-confidence, or whether we were so happy and controlled in the game, or if it looked a bit too easy,” he said.
“But it’s a wake-up call. There’s no easy games in the Premier League, it’s difficult.
“If you lose that control, momentum and the other team reacts, then you’ve got problems.
“The last 15 minutes of the first half made us lose the game.
“It was a game of two different things. One of us controlling and putting the other team on the back foot.
“And another one of trying to get another goal.
“It was an interesting game, not too many chances, but that’s football.
“Then I took a few risks at the end because they were just defending.
“On another day, you come back in the game, although Harry (Redknapp, QPR boss) might not agree.
“It’s football. The goals are really expensive and that was the one which made the difference.”