KEEP the faith.
That will be Gus Poyet’s message to Sunderland’s players at Swansea tomorrow, as he urges them to shrug off any setbacks if events don’t go according to plan on his Black Cats bow.
Sunderland have fallen behind in five of their seven Premier League outings so far this season – all of which have culminated in defeat.
But new head coach Poyet wants Sunderland to be mentally stronger and believe that their philosophy can overcome adversity.
Poyet said: “I don’t want the players to feel that if it goes one way or another, the game changes completely.
“Anything can happen in the first 15 to 20 minutes, but you still have time to play.
“You have to be calm, organised and believe in what you do.
“Now, if it’s a disaster, of course I’m going to change, but I don’t think it will.
“The key is not to go down completely because you concede a goal or something doesn’t go according to plan.
“This is a process. The idea is to do our best tomorrow to win the game.”
Poyet believes that if Sunderland can stay in contention with Swansea this weekend, they will have a chance of snatching maximum points in the latter stages.
Michael Laudrup’s side are still looking for their first home league win of the campaign and Poyet is looking to frustrate the hosts and cause anxiety to ripple down from the Liberty Stadium terraces.
He said: “We know how they are going to play. Most people do.
“They can do things differently and they’ll try to find spaces to pass the ball.
“For us, it will be a matter of being patient, getting the ball and caring about it even more than usual.
“The longer it goes with us being organised and threatening the opposition, then the better for us.”
Poyet says those players who have grasped those principles on the training ground this week, will have the best chance of forcing their way into contention tomorrow.
“The ones who understand what we need quicker than others, will have a great chance to start,” added the Uruguayan.
“Then if we start well, the rest will have to wait.
“There is a great chance to start in the 11 tomorrow and then stay there.”