GUS POYET has come in for criticism from Sunderland supporters this season, amid perceptions that the head coach is too quick to pass the buck.
But Poyet shouldered the blame for the penalty and red-card incident which proved to be a game-changer in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.
The Uruguayan was getting ready to introduce Danny Graham from the substitutes’ bench just after the hour mark, but admitted, in hindsight, that he should have brought the striker on sooner.
Had that been the case, Poyet believes it may have given Sunderland some sort of attacking threat and halted the pattern of being camped inside their own half.
Poyet said: “We needed to make sure we improved a few things in the second half, but we didn’t and that’s why we needed to make a change.
“I left it too late.
One minute before and one minute after was the difference between us conceding a goalGus Poyet
“We needed someone to go in behind. We didn’t have enough power going forward and Danny Graham was going to give us that.
“We were ready, the change had already been decided when the penalty happened and that changed the game.
“One minute before and one minute after was the difference between us conceding a goal.
“I was disappointed with the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“Maybe, at that time, the players were just thinking about defending to get a result.”
Poyet felt Sunderland needed to make more of the jitters they caused in the United defence during the opening exchanges, when Connor Wickham drew a smart save out of David De Gea and Jermain Defoe had a couple of efforts from the edge of the box.
“For 15 minutes, I was delighted – everything we talked about in the week, knowing how they were playing, was working well,” added Poyet.
“We started as we planned. We were aggressive. We broke with danger and had a couple of great opportunities to make the difference.
“When you have those chances at Old Trafford, you need to take them.”