What former boss Gus Poyet made of Sunderland 'Til I Die series two and what it demonstrated

Former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet admits he found Sunderland ‘Til I Die ‘a tough watch’.
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Poyet spoke to The Guardian about his time on Wearside, and says the series backed up some of the controversial claims he made while manager of the club .

He added that the second series underlined what ‘goes on behind the manager’.

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“The first series was very special, as it touched me a lot as I was there,” he said.

Former Sunderland boss Gus PoyetFormer Sunderland boss Gus Poyet
Former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet

“It was my office, that was my life. I was there first thing in the morning and leaving the training ground at five or 6pm. I was one of the few, and I am not putting myself in a special place, who managed the club while living in the city.

“It was sad to see so many people I worked with that were still there and it was tough for me to watch,” he added.

“The second series shows a different side of the story of the new owners. They wanted to change things in a very strong, aggressive manner and certain things they were complaining had been done by people before, they ended up doing themselves. It just shows you that it is easy to talk about something you are not in and it shows what goes on behind the manager, letting people know how it isn’t his responsibility. At the end, though, it ends up being the manager’s responsibility.

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“When I went to Sunderland, the owners and the fans asked for two things: one, to stay up and two, beat Newcastle,” he added.

“The rest, I swear to God, does not matter. Somehow we did the miracle – and it will be remembered as a miracle – to stay up. Six games to go we were seven points from safety and we were playing Chelsea, Man City and Man United, so it was a miracle.

“In my time we played Newcastle three times and beat them three times, twice at St James’ Park. Then it depends how you analyse what success is.

“People say to me: ‘You had a tough time.’ Yes. ‘You got sacked because the team was bad and close to relegation.’ Yes. But what did you ask me to do? What was my goal? Save the team and beat Newcastle.

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“Without saying that we went to Wembley for the first time in 20 years, we lost the Carling Cup to Man City, but I think we did our job and I was easily accused of saying things that now people watching the series, they will think back: ‘Oh, Gus had a point.’”

Poyet has been out of management since leaving Bordeaux in 2018 and admits he would like to return to work in England at some stage.

“I am still waiting and talking to people,” he said.

“My aim was to come back to England, as after I left Sunderland I wanted to go somewhere to open my mind and come back.

“It’s taken a little bit longer than expected to come back but that is football. Now it is a little more difficult to come back here in England.”