Poyet taking time to ponder Sunderland sacrifices

VULNERABLE: Vito Mannone looks dejected after making another mistake against Arsenal.
VULNERABLE: Vito Mannone looks dejected after making another mistake against Arsenal.

GUS Poyet says the nine-day gap between Premier League fixtures provides ample time to ponder sacrifices for the trip to Crystal Palace.

Poyet is yet to name an unchanged starting line-up this season, with two of his first-team regulars under the spotlight for next Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park.

Both Wes Brown and Vito Mannone are vulnerable after their individual howlers in last weekend’s defeat to Arsenal followed previous mistakes in the 8-0 rout at Southampton.

Poyet, who has come under fire himself from some supporters for Sunderland’s slump over the last 10 days, was coy over whether Brown and Mannone will pay the price for their mistakes.

But he admits that regardless of who lines up at fifth-bottom Palace, Sunderland need to find a catalyst to restore some positivity to the camp.

When asked whether some players needed to be taken out of the firing line, Poyet replied: “It depends.

“I think it’s a long week.

“It’s going to be an even more difficult week than last week.

“When you lose two games in a row it’s tough.

“You need characters.”

He added: “I’m realistic, there’s nothing you can do apart from keep believing, continue to convince the players and pick the right team.

“We can debate if Jonno (Adam Johnson) needs to play or doesn’t need to play, or if Vito Mannone needs to play or doesn’t need to play.

“That’s my decision.

“The results will determine if I need to be here or not, but I’m not worried about that because I know what we have done and what we can do.

“It’s just the quality and the momentum which we need to change.”

Sunderland are yet to taste victory away from home in the Premier League this season and haven’t found the net on the road since the opening day draw at West Brom.

But Poyet’s side won as many games on their travels last season as they managed at the Stadium of Light, including triumphs at Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United.

And before the drubbing at Southampton, Sunderland had looked resilient in their three away games, but struggled to muster a goal threat.

“Away from home, we’d been good,” added Poyet.

“People are talking about clean sheets and we kept a couple – one in the cup as well.

“We were all right.”