Monday 20 January 2020

Players up for derby clash - Poyet

Gus Poyet is ready for Sunderland's home clash with rivals Newcastle
Gus Poyet is ready for Sunderland's home clash with rivals Newcastle

Gus Poyet is confident his Sunderland players will need no added motivation as they attempt to breathe new life into their season against derby rivals Newcastle.

The Black Cats could hardly choose a better weekend during which to finally secure their first Barclays Premier League win of the campaign and, as a result, prevent themselves from being cast further adrift at the foot of the table.

And Poyet believes he will not need to fire up his players for Sunday's showdown with the Magpies at the Stadium of Light.

He said: "I don't think I should give any kind of special message. They should feel it.

"The players who have been here at the club, British players, they need to make sure they help the new ones to understand what it means.

"We will do our bit as well, but I am sure that's going to be what happens, and what happens is going to be spectacular, so that side of the game, I am not too worried about."

The new league season may only be eight games old, but it has proved a long one already for supporters who have seen their side play well in patches, but struggle to do so for long enough to secure positive results.

To date, they have managed to take a solitary point from a 1-1 draw at Southampton, and a demoralising 4-0 defeat at Swansea last weekend sends them into the derby perched on something of a precipice.

However, Poyet is hoping the special atmosphere of the Wear-Tyne skirmish will spark the passion required to buck the recent trend.

Asked what the fans could expect to see, he said: "I can tell you that they will see the passion. They are passionate players and they want to be on the pitch, for sure.

"In the end, of course, you need quality and you need concentration and other things, but the passion is going to be there.

"If the passion is not there, then things will change dramatically."

Newcastle will arrive on Wearside sitting in 10th place with 11 points, but with Poyet hoping to exploit a potential weakness in central defence in the absence of the injured Fabricio Coloccini and the suspended Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Poyet, whose first game as Brighton manager resulted in a 3-1 away win against Alan Pardew's Southampton, said: "They have been, especially going forward, a very strong group of players who have been playing together for the last six or eight months, with the addition of [Loic] Remy, who is always someone you need to be careful of.

"From that side of the game, they are very strong. But as everyone knows - probably Alan Pardew better than anyone - they have been having some problems in the centre of defence, so we need to wait and see who is going to play in there.

"That could be the only part of the game where maybe they have been suffering."

PA Media

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