GUS POYET says even the most casual observer can tell that Sunderland need to improve their attacking options in the January transfer window.
The Black Cats’ tally of Premier League draws reached double figures on Saturday, with head coach Poyet struggling to contain his frustration at the pattern which continues to dog his side.
Poyet believes Sunderland are paying the price for a lack of quality in the final third – a view borne out by a goal return of just 14 in 16 top-flight outings, the third worst haul in the division.
And it is clearly the priority area in next month’s window for Poyet, who again made a point of stressing the respective responsibilities of himself and sporting director Lee Congerton.
“You need to be a person who doesn’t have a clue about football to not realise what we’re missing,” he said.
“Even if you listen to the radio, you know what we’re missing.”
Asked if there would be a new forward arriving in January, Poyet responded: “That’s a question that you need to ask the recruitment system.
“I can’t be answering for everything, because we’ve got a system in place.
“There’s people in charge.
“I’m training the team and doing the best we can. This, I promise you, is the best we can.
“The other responsibilities are not in my hands. Then it’s up to them.”
Poyet says he cannot question the effort or application of his side, who matched high-flying West Ham and finished the game in the ascendancy.
But Sunderland couldn’t profit from their opportunities to regain the lead after Jordi Gomez’s penalty was cancelled out by Stewart Downing – Jozy Altidore spurning the most gilt-edged of the chances on the stroke of half-time.
“Every season, I started the season thinking if I didn’t score double figures, I wasn’t good enough,” said Poyet.
“Now, the people up front need to find that.
“Don’t tell me we didn’t have chances, because then we’re lying to ourselves.
“You need to find a way and that’s frustrating.
“It’s a part of the game that I doubt I can improve dramatically.
“I can help them, but it’s out of my hands.
“It’s missing very little and we’re doing everything we can.
“This is where we are. This is us.
“I don’t think you can ask for more.
“Every point looks like it takes everything from the players and it’s a massive effort.
“But, at the end, that’s where we are.
“I was clear the other day. I don’t want four draws (before the end of 2014). I’d prefer a win and a draw than four draws.
“We want to have the feeling of winning.”
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