GUS POYET has challenged Sunderland to ensure they capitalise on a crucial victory over Burnley.
Sunderland ended a four-month run of home sickness today with only their second Premier League win of the campaign at the Stadium of Light, to restore a four-point buffer with the relegation zone.
But head coach Poyet knows Sunderland need to build on the win, with fellow strugglers QPR and West Brom visiting Wearside after next Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.
Poyet said: “My challenge now is we are not ‘okay’.
“We’ve won a football game. That’s it.
“Next week we have to match the desire and quality on the ball and do the same at Swansea.
“It doesn’t matter about the other results. We need to make sure we don’t get into that comfort zone.
“We need to keep improving because we do have more qualities than we’re showing especially on the ball.
“I’m pleased, happy for the players and the fans.
“I think it’s what we needed.
“We needed to match the commitment and desire of the Burnley players first and then at some point of game, impose the quality.
“That was the message. We got two good goals, two strikers scoring, a clean sheet and much-needed win. It’s a very important day.”
Poyet had experimented with a 3-5-2 formation in the previous two games, to accommodate January signing Jermain Defoe in the starting XI.
But Poyet reverted to the 4-1-4-1 system which Sunderland have used for the vast majority of the campaign, albeit with Connor Wickham and Adam Johnson given more attacking licence.
That paid off with Wickham and then Defoe’s first in Sunderland colours giving the Black Cats a two-goal advantage by the interval.
“We went back to basics,” said Poyet.
“I think the idea to go three at the back was because of the personnel available for the last few weeks.
“At Tottenham, we were alright for certain periods.
“The cup game was then a good option to use it.
“But having most of the players back apart from Lee Cattermole, my feeling is that the players know how to play four at the back.
“We did things well.
“The two full-backs got in behind more than when they were wing backs. We got a bit higher, we didn’t defend so deep.”