GUS POYET expects an “interesting week” on the training ground to gauge whether he makes wholesale changes for Saturday’s visit of Arsenal.
Poyet described the 8-0 rout at Southampton as his most embarrassing day in football after a shambolic Sunderland side succumbed to the joint heaviest defeat in the club’s history.
The Sunderland boss has limited options to go back to the drawing board against Arsenal, with Emanuele Giaccherini, Sebastian Coates, Ricky Alvarez, Jozy Altidore and Billy Jones all on the treatment table.
But Poyet says those who he selects to produce a response at the Stadium of Light next weekend will be determined by what he sees on the training field.
Poyet said: “We’ll see the players this week. Who will be fit, I don’t know.
“But it’s going to be an interesting week, I can tell you that, that’s for sure.
“From me to the last player, everybody needs to look at themselves and ask if they did right or wrong. Then, maybe, you can start looking at somebody else.
“I didn’t try anything stupid (after the Stoke game a fortnight earlier). If I’d changed five players after a win people might have been asking what I was doing.
“There are things you can explain but for me it was impossible to explain the second half. I cannot. I cannot explain this.
“For me, it is not my team, it is not what I was expecting. I don’t know what words to say.”
Poyet resisted the temptation to haul his players in for extra training yesterday, as a punishment for their hapless display on the south coast.
“I needed Sunday off,” he said.
“I wasn’t going to be any harsher. I didn’t need to see them on Sunday. Saturday was enough.”
But he believes it will be intriguing to see how his players react to such a mauling.
He added: “Every day is something to learn but when everything is good it’s very easy. You need to be there when things are going against you and it’s very difficult.
“It’s going to be a difficult week. The players who play next week are going to have to go out and do something about it, for sure.
“I’ve never seen one of my teams make so many mistakes.
“That’s why I use the word embarrassing because I am trying to be respectful. I am responsible.
“This was the most embarrassing time I have had on a football pitch. Without any doubt.”
Poyet could hand some of those on the fringes a chance to earn impress tonight, with Sunderland Under-21s hosting Leicester City at the Stadium of Light (kick-off 7pm).
But it may be more of an opportunity for the likes of Danny Graham and Cabral - who were both on the bench on Saturday, with the latter included in a Sunderland squad for the first time since December – to get minutes under their belts.