GUS Poyet says new signing Anthony Reveillere has been a revelation in terms of his fitness since arriving at the Stadium of Light.
The 34-year-old full-back signed until the end of the season last month, with the Black Cats pleased to have secured a player of Reveillere’s pedigree but concerned about how fit he would be.
The former French international had not played competitive football since being released from his contract by Serie A side Napoli at the end of last season.
And Sunderland were worried about how a player with no pre-season or competitive games under his belt would cope with the demands of the Premier League.
But Reveillere has come through his first two Sunderland games, against Crystal Palace and Everton, with flying colours.
And Poyet confessed: “Physically, I’ve been surprised how well he’s done. “There’s no doubt about that.
“I don’t want to compare myself to him – but I’m 46 and you play a game and then a week later, you still can’t run!
“He’s 34 and hadn’t played for a while, so that was something we were looking closely at.
“But he’s slim, fit.
“He just needed football and we put on some sessions for him – three 20-minute sessions at a time and we made him play, play, play.
“After that, it was dependent on him.
“He was delighted after playing at Crystal Palace and lasting the whole game and coping with Wilfried Zaha.”
One thing Poyet never had any doubts about was Reveillere’s quality, although his adaptability – switching from right-back to left-back for the sake of the team – has been a further bonus.
“Am I surprised at him, football-wise?” asked Poyet. “Not at all.
“We saw him, remember, so we knew.
“And the first few days in training he did things with the ball and we said ‘yes, he’s a footballer’.
“He has that class.
“That’s why he’s played for the level of teams he’s played for in the past and that’s why we believed he could add something extra to our squad.”