GUS Poyet says he is not by nature a ‘tinkerman’ when it comes to team selection - even though the evidence of his time on Wearside might suggests otherwise.
The Sunderland head coach has yet to name an unchanged side this year.
But he looks poised to start the same starting 11 today at Chelsea after the team’s midweek heroics against Manchester City in the 2-2 draw at the Etihad.
Although that would be the first time he has done so since November 23, in the wake of a previous game against Manchester City - the 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light -
Poyet is insistent that he does not believe in continually changing his line-ups.
“If I could, I would have a settled side and rarely change it,” he told the Echo.
“You have a squad system and you have to make full use of that but generally you would make hardly any changes going on from game to game.
“You would want hardly any changes because hopefully that side would be winning and therefore difficult to change.
“Fans might have favourites they want to play all the time but I don’t have favourites.
“When players play, it is because they deserve to play.
“It is up to them as much as it is up to me.
“They have to go and show why they deserve to be in the team - if they perform, they go in.”
Poyet says the team and formation has changed with every game mainly because he has been trying to come up with a winning formula.
But he says he was delighted with the way the team responded on Wednesday, especially after conceding just two minutes into the game at the Etihad.
“We had a plan and we stuck to it at City and eventually it worked in our favour,” he said.
“The idea is to have a plan and believe in what you do and stay in the game, never give it up.
“We want to start strong and make it difficult for Chelsea but at the same time look to cause them problems at the other end.
“If we play like we did against Man City though, we will have a chance.”