AFTER an afternoon of frustration for Sunderland’s players and fans alike, Gus Poyet suggested everyone saw the bigger picture when it came to the forgettable cup clash with Kidderminster Harriers – the Black Cats had avoided an upset.
Sunderland never really looked in trouble against a side 78 league places below them in the pyramid who came with a game plan of being difficult to break down before trying to get something in the closing stages.
But, after a bright opening from the hosts at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland got bogged down and the Black Cats’ scratch side lacked the capacity to lift their game.
“For what we want to achieve as a team, players need to know each other and know how we play, and too many players didn’t in that particular game,” Sunderland’s head coach explained.
“We did OK in the beginning because of the tempo which with we played, but as soon as that dropped it became tough.
“A few players showed me something; a few didn’t.
“But we will analyse and we will talk about the reasons for that – sometimes you can simply have a bad day – but it was good for me in terms of the information I got.”
Only Lee Cattermole of the team which beat Manchester United, in the midweek Capital One Cup shoot-out at Old Trafford, started the game against Kidderminster and Poyet said that was a case of being practical rather than of punishment for the ex-skipper!
“I needed a leader and a character in the middle of the park,” he said.
“II could have played John O’Shea at the back, but we have knocks to consider and I had to think about a lot things.
“Kidderminster made it difficult for us – they were organised and sat deep.
“But we struggled to cross the ball properly and get shots on target and that was less to do with lack of team understanding than it was individual quality at key moments.
“That’s difficult for them and that’s not something we can hide – a few didn’t have a good day.”
Poyet, though, sees no need for inquests or repercussions though.
“Let’s take it for what it is – a win,” he said.
“Let’s remember, we are in the last 16 of the FA Cup,.
“It was a disappointing game in some ways, but it was a very good disappointment because we won.
“I’m more interested now in how we’re all feeling on Thursday morning after the Stoke City game the night before.
“That’s important because the main thing for us is to get three Premier League points.
“We got the right result against Kidderminster and that’s what counts the most.
“Now, I want the win against Stoke and I don’t really care how we play particularly in that game either, just so long as we get another win.”