GUS POYET believes Sunderland have banished the ghosts of their Southampton horror show after recording a first clean sheet in almost two months.
Sunderland extended their unbeaten run to three games today after a stalemate at Leicester City - the Black Cats’ seventh draw in just 12 Premier League outings this season.
There was a sense of a missed opportunity for Sunderland after Foxes stopper Kasper Schmeicel made a couple of excellent saves, while the Black Cats enjoyed spells when they were on top at the King Power Stadium.
But head coach Poyet wasn’t too upset by a solitary point added to the tally - stressing that Sunderland’s defensive resilience is pleasing on the eye after last month’s 8-0 mauling at Southampton.
Poyet said: “The clean sheet is the best part of the game really for us.
“We used to say that we were a difficult team to play until that bad game that we had a few weeks ago.
“Now we’re back to being a difficult team - not giving the opposition too many chances, which is important in football, and then trying to play your game.
“I need to think about what happened three or four weeks ago and we’re trying to get back to basics.
“For that reason, I’m pleased with the result and the way we’re performing.
“Of course, you always want more, but we need to be realistic.
“We went back to basics after Southampton.
“That day was a terrible day. We collapsed, it was something unique.
“But it creates doubts in the players’ minds and you need to be careful. We made two massive mistakes in the next game.
“We’ve played Palace away and Leicester away and we’ve only conceded one goal in those games, so I think we’re back to normal.
“We play Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool next so I’ll let you know in two weeks’ time whether we can say the same!”
Leicester came out the blocks quickly and put Sunderland under pressure during the opening exchanges.
But then Poyet’s side enjoyed the better of proceedings with Fletcher denied by Schmeicel’s stunning reflexes before the Dane kept out an awkward long-range effort from Adam Johnson.
“I think it was a typical game between two teams that are in the situation they are,” he added.
“There weren’t too many chances.
“We had one great action in the first half with Fletcher, but it was a great save.
“One quality moment or mistake usually decides these games.
“You need to realise that Leicester were trying to get back to their beginning of the season form.
“Their shape showed that with two wide players and two players up front.
“They were trying to pin us back.
“For 15-20 minutes they did that, but then we started passing the ball, brought the craziness of the game down.
“I felt comfortable. I wasn’t nervous or feeling at any stage that we had a chance to lose the game.
“We tried - a few free-kicks, a few actions and changed things from one corner or free-kick to the next.
“But sometimes it doesn’t work.
“We will play worse and win games for sure.
“We have to be pleased with the performance, the clean sheet and the point.”