SUNDERLAND’S squad boasts some strength in depth after the end of their summer recruitment drive, says Gus Poyet.
The Black Cats have completed yet another close season of hectic business after concluding the transfer window with nine fresh faces among their ranks after losing 16 players since the end of last season.
Ideally, Poyet would have liked another two players on board - an extra forward and a centre-half - but the head coach is content with the work done by the club during the summer.
Poyet believes the quality in his ranks runs far deeper than last season and that is testified by the strength of Sunderland’s bench, with a couple of first-teamers facing the disappointment of not even being included among the substitutes for today’s visit of Spurs.
He said: “I think the bench lately has been great for me - knowing I can change things, with different qualities.
“There were many games last year when the options on the bench were just natural. You knew who was going to play before the game started.
“Now we can have different options.
“Jordi Gomez was close to playing every single game (this season) and then at QPR, he didn’t play.
“But I thought in that particular game - right or wrong - that we needed more mobility and (Emanuele) Giaccherini would give me something different to Jordi.
“Then we lost. Does that mean it was wrong? You can say yes, but I think not.
“But of course, I’ve got Jordi in my mind all the time because I know what he can bring to us.”
Poyet says the equation for determining his team selection will be simple - a winning formula is unlikely to be altered.
He added: “I think the important message for the players is that if the team clicks like last year after Man City and they’re in it, then they’re in.
“There’s nothing that’s going to get them out.
“That’s the challenge for the players. They’ve got to think: ‘I’m going to be in that team that’s going to win an important game and then going to play the next game’.
“Then they’ll play in the important games, on the important nights.
“I’m sure we will get that from this group of players - that commitment and consideration about the team-mates around.
“It’s a fair battle.
“In terms of the behaviour and the understanding of the group, that’s much better this year.”