Poyet vow: Sunderland will fight to the death

Have your say

GUS Poyet has warned the rest of the Premier League not to expect his bottom-of-the table side to roll over in games in the second half of the season.

Sunderland have been their own worst enemy at times in the first half of the campaign and that threatened to be the case against Cardiff at the weekend, when they simply didn’t get out of the blocks in the first half-hour of the game.

Steven Fletcher stretches to haul Sunderland back into Saturday's game at 2-1

Steven Fletcher stretches to haul Sunderland back into Saturday's game at 2-1

But they showed great determination to rescue a point when all seemed lost, thanks to goals from Steven Fletcher in the 83rd minute and Jack Colback five minutes into stoppage time.

And afterwards Poyet insisted: “I think teams will start to realise that we are not a side that gives up.

“If you are going to beat us you are going to have to play exceptionally well or work very hard because we are going to fight to the death and not going to give up.

“And we showed that in the last 20 minutes against Cardiff when we were the only team in it.”

Poyet and Sunderland have had a good Christmas in terms of their points return, with a hugely unexpected win at Everton, followed by that gutsy draw at Cardiff.

And the head coach is more convinced than ever that Sunderland can get out of the seemingly hopeless position they were in when he arrived back in October.

“If you had asked me at Christmas would I have taken four points from six from these two games then the answer would undoubtedly have been: ‘yes’,” he said.

“They were two very difficult away games and the fact we have got four points out of them can only help our confidence.

“I feel we are going to be a Premier League team next season because we are going in the right direction.

“When I first arrived, there was a gap at the bottom, but we are closing it.

“We can see we can get out of it and we have to maintain that hope into the New Year.

“It’s a great feeling for us, and the fans, that after five games unbeaten we are close now to getting out of the bottom three.”

Twitter @sunechograeme

* Don’t miss out on our souvenir special edition celebrating the Football Echo’s 106 years – it’s out now.