GUS POYET hopes this international break proves to be kinder to Sunderland than the last one.
The Black Cats, who have seven players away representing their countries, have a two-week breather before the Premier League resumes, in the final set of internationals this calendar year.
Sunderland suffered an 8-0 mauling at Southampton following the last break from domestic action, with Poyet mindful of avoiding a similarly horrifying result when his side return to top flight competition at third bottom Leicester on Saturday, November 22.
But the head coach also believes that the break has arrived at an opportune moment for Sunderland, with at least three of the six absentees in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Everton expected to be back in the fold at the King Power Stadium.
“We learned a lot from the last international break,” said Poyet.
“Now we should get players back and make sure we don’t do what we did at Southampton, in the next game.
“I’m looking forward to the international break.
“It’s good for us. We need players and quality back.”
Despite the list of notable names missing yesterday, Sunderland built on their victory at Crystal Palace with a well-deserved draw in a thoroughly entertaining encounter against the Toffees.
Poyet believes the performance was evidence that Sunderland have confined the Southampton drubbing to history and rediscovered the resilience they showed at the start of the season.
“When you think about where we were one week ago, yes I think it’s better,” he said.
“It was us.
“Sometimes things go for or against you.
“But it was us yesterday. With our style, at home, with the players we’ve got at the moment.
“The idea was to stop that negativity and all the bad things we were doing on the pitch with a few good results.”
Poyet felt a draw was ultimately a fair outcome for both sides, despite seeing Seb Larsson’s free-kick cancelled out within 10 minutes of Sunderland breaking the deadlock.
“In games like this one, the manager of one team says we deserved to win because we had three or four chances and then the manager of the other team says we deserved to win because we had three or four chances,” added Poyet.
“I think it was tight. We knew it would be close.
“I think it’s quite fair.
“I watched Everton on Thursday night (in the Europa League) and they were outstanding.
“They overran Lille completely and they came here on a high and needed to perform.
“But we were not LIlle, we didn’t give them too much space or allow them to get in the box a lot.
“They had a couple of chances and Costel (Pantilimon) did exceptionally well with one.
“I thought we created a few chances and on another day, Wes (Brown) would have scored (in injury time).
“But I think it was probably the fair result.”