Poyet: No excuses as boss keeps plans simple for first game of his Sunderland reign at Swansea

Gus Poyet oversees training yesterday. Picture by Kevin Brady
Gus Poyet oversees training yesterday. Picture by Kevin Brady
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GUS POYET will accept any judgement of his Premier League debut, despite having less than 48 hours of preparation with his full squad.

New Sunderland head coach Poyet takes charge of his first top-flight outing tomorrow when he begins his Black Cats reign at sixth-bottom Swansea.

Poyet has overseen training at the Academy of Light for the last 10 days, yet he has been without eight players on international duty, while John O’Shea reported for the Republic of Ireland for the second of their World Cup qualifiers.

The Uruguayan was able to work and speak with the bulk of those returning internationals yesterday, yet he was still without South Korean pair Ji Dong-won and Ki Sung-Yeung, while American Jozy Altidore only returned to Wearside in the afternoon.

But, despite that lack of time with his new players, Poyet insists it shouldn’t be offered in mitigation if Sunderland suffer a sixth successive Premier League defeat this weekend.

“I know tomorrow is close and I’ve got an excuse, but I don’t care,” said Poyet.

“That’s the situation we’re in and we have to go to Swansea and play.

“I don’t want to complain after the game because of the players who’ve just come back.

“I’ll pick the right team to win this game and try to get the three points.

“We had a good meeting yesterday morning and set out our standards of how we work.

“We gave a bit of basic information of how we were going to play in terms of attacking, but kept it simple.

“We cannot complicate things too much.

“We went on the training pitch and did the things that we thought they needed at this moment in time.

“In the beginning, we tried to relax and enjoyed the weather and then we had to get serious. I call it business.

“At the moment, everybody has been spot-on, asking questions and listening.

“I’ve got no problem with them asking ‘why?’ because that’s the best way.

“I tried to talk individually and in groups. The more that we can connect, the better.”

Poyet has at least been able to work with the bulk of a defence that has conceded 14 times in the last five league games.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood trained fully this week after pulling out of Ireland duty through injury, while centre-half O’Shea was on Wearside for the first two days of Poyet’s reign.

And right-back Ondrej Celustka, who was an unused by the Czech Republic during the two qualifiers, was bombarded by information yesterday to bring him up to speed.

“The defensive part is the bit I’m happiest about, to be honest,” added Poyet.

“With Ondrej Celustka, we gave him so much information and a little bit more with John, who had had the first two days with us.

“In terms of organisation, I think if we’re strong mentally and concentrate, I’m pretty sure we’ll be alright.

“Now, the idea is to maintain that and at the same time to play football to go and win.

“We need to be smart; an intelligent team tomorrow. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.”

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