GUS POYET took heart from Sunderland’s young guns earning back-to-back pre-season victories for the Black Cats.
But the Sunderland boss insisted he was not worried in the slightest by the club’s more established players labouring in the 1-0 win at Carlisle United.
League Two Carlisle more than matched the Black Cats for the opening hour at Brunton Park last night, before the game changed in the final hour when Poyet introduced a team of Under-21s from the bench.
The club’s academy products were full of energy and grabbed the only goal of the game through frontman Mikael Mandron.
“I’m delighted for the kids,” said Poyet.
“I said to them before they went on that they had a great chance to win the game for us and they showed great spirit to get that goal.
“They celebrated as if we were qualifying for a European league!”
Poyet, who will name an entirely different starting XI at Hartlepool United tonight, admitted Sunderland looked fatigued at Brunton Park after the players had completed a strenuous training sessions in the morning.
The head coach added: “We knew about heavy legs and how tired they are. They trained yesterday morning this group of players and ran a lot.
“People don’t know that, but they came here and were tired. It’s not an excuse, but it’s true. Players want to be fresh to perform.
“But I’m not worried about the performance at all. It’s about seeing the desire and the commitment of the players every time they put that Sunderland shirt on.
“They need to make sure they give their maximum if they want to be here.
“It’s an hour they’ve gone through.
“Now in Portugal we’ll be able to play 90 minutes, come back and be fully fit for the Premier League.”