Sunderland boss: Why I had to break my golden rule with early subs

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
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GUS Poyet broke one of his own managerial principles when he hauled off Ki Sung-Yueng and Jack Colback five minutes before half-time at Norwich in a very public show of disappointment with his players.

The two substitutions had nothing to do with injuries – only a sign of displeasure from Sunderland’s head coach who was hoping to administer a mental kick up the backside to his team.

After Saturday’s 2-0 Carrow Road defeat, he reflected on how poorly Sunderland had played to push him into taking such action.

And, at the same time as he gave vent to his unhappiness, he pointed out that the Killingworth kid and the South Korean international were far from being the only sinners who might have been substituted.

“I have never made two tactical substitutions before half-time in a game before,” revealed Poyet.

“And when I first started off in football management, I said I never would.

“So never say ‘never’ in football, eh?

“The truth was that we had seven or eight players not working, but I couldn’t change seven or eight, so I changed the two I could.

“And I’m not saying this because I want to defend those players – Jack and Ki paid the price, but there would have been many others if I’d had that option.

“Jack and Ki have been outstanding for me generally, but I made the change because we needed to change things around and we had to do something.

“It worked for a while.

“But it was not enough.

“At least we were a different team in the second half.

“Lee Cattermole made a difference.

“People might have thought that at 2-0 down, maybe we should have used a more attacking substitution but Lee brings energy and leadership.”

Twitter @sunechograeme