NEW Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has urged the fans to trust him as he attempts to drag the club out of trouble.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan has been handed the task of lifting the Black Cats from the foot of the Barclays Premier League table following his appointment as Paolo Di Canio’s successor today.
Having signed a two-year deal, Poyet is confident he can repair the damage wrought during the Italian’s ill-fated reign and ease them out of the relegation zone.
Asked if he had a message for the club’s supporters, he told SAFSee: “Trust me, believe, connect with the team. We are all together in this, we are all together, so it is important that we stick together.
“It’s a big, big challenge, but I am really excited. I thought I would have an opportunity in the Premier League and now I have got it.
“I need to make sure that I prove they picked the right man to get us from the situation we are in, so I am absolutely delighted.”
Poyet inherits a team which is yet to win a Premier League game this season and has managed to collect just a single point from seven attempts to date.
He will look to address that situation for the first time at Swansea next Saturday before heading into his opening match at the Stadium of Light, a derby clash with Newcastle which has now taken on added significance for a man who twice guided former club Brighton to FA Cup victory over the Magpies.
Asked what his priority would be, he said: “Well it is to address the problems quickly, make sure we train and we convince the players to get better, and slowly that will make us pick up points.
“The sooner we win, of course, the better, but the idea is to make sure that we understand the way that we would like them to play football.
“We think it’s the best way, so there has to be very good communication with the players, understanding, trust - we need to commit as a group.
“We need to make sure that we are all together, players, staff, fans, make sure that we are very strong to make sure that we can win football games.”
Poyet, of course, left Brighton under something of a cloud during the summer and has his own reputation as a combustible character, although he is perhaps not in the same league as his predecessor in that respect.
However, he has very firm ideas about how he wants a Sunderland side which played with little confidence or organisation during the latter days of Di Canio’s tenure, but improved significantly under temporary boss Kevin Ball, to operate.
He said: “I am a very honest person, very honest. I believe that football should be played in one way, which is caring a lot for the ball.
“That way of playing football needs to be adaptable to the players. If you want to play football, but you don’t have the players, it’s not going to work, so you need to work, convince, use the ability of the players.
“We like to give the players the possibility to perform at their best, to play in the position where they want to play. They can perform, there are no excuses, they can go on the pitch and feel comfortable.
“Apart from that, we will help them, explain things that they need to listen to in the next few days.
“But the sooner they get it, the better for everybody.”
Di Canio, under the guidance of director of football Roberto De Fanti, signed 14 players during the summer as the club embarked upon a radical overhaul of the playing staff.
That investment has paid limited dividends to date, but Poyet is convinced there is enough talent within the dressing room to achieve the results required.
He said: “That’s why I am here. If there were no talented players, if there were no quality players, the challenge would be practically impossible.
“I am convinced that the players are good enough.”