WHEN Gus Poyet and the Sunderland bench sprang out of their dugout towards the away fans after Jack Colback notched the Wearsiders’ third goal, it was inevitable that comparisons would be drawn with Paolo Di Canio’s super-charged celebrations the previous season.
David Vaughan’s wonder-strike had the Italian memorably losing his marbles on the St James’s Park touchline.
And a grinning Poyet admitted after Saturday’s stirring events that it can be difficult to remain stone-faced when joy and relief at so many things going right is coursing through your veins.
“I know how to enjoy things and sometimes you cannot control yourself,” said Di Canio’s successor as Sunderland head coach.
“I remember when we scored the second goal against Newcastle at home in October, I lost it a little bit.
“We needed that goal, that win, so much.
“And in this game at St James’s you know the game is still open if it is only 2-0.
“If they had scored one goal, there would have been so much pressure but when we got the third, especially so late, you finally feel you’re there and that’s why the release.”
Poyet’s plan and tactics were spot on as he maintained his 100 per cent derby win rate in his first season as Black Cats’ boss.
But he was swift to heap praise on the Sunderland squad that did the city so proud.
“I tried to keep my calm in the game but it is definitely up to the players,” he said.
“The players are the ones who have to go there and mark and pass the ball well, be brave and be solid.
“Look at Liam Bridcutt making his debut.
“People were saying, ‘How is he going to do in the Premier League?’
“But there you go. He came here was solid and calm, and passed the ball well and that’s what we need.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit of training, and sometimes it’s about having the right players in the right places in the team and this looks like a proper team now.”