Sunderland would no longer be in the Premier League if it was not for Gus Poyet says star

THE KEEPER AND THE GAFFER: Mannone and Poyet
THE KEEPER AND THE GAFFER: Mannone and Poyet
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VITO Mannone says Gus Poyet is the main reason Sunderland will be a Premier League football club when the 2014-15 commences.

The former Arsenal keeper was brought to Wearside last summer by ex-boss Paolo Di Canio but says he is grateful to Poyet for saving the Black Cats’ skins this season.

“The manager has been massive for us,” Mannone said.

“He himself would say it is all about the players because that’s what he does.

“But at the end of the day, it was him who came in and organised us, it was him who came up with the way of playing and it was him who selected the players.

“He organised the club and the team properly and towards the end of the season you saw the benefit of that.

“He was trying to do things right from the very first moment he came into the club but because it takes time to adapt we were a little bit inconsistent as we tried to follow his approach.

“But I think you saw how well it went once we had adapted to it - we put that great winning run together which saved us - and that came from the manager.”

Mannone is off on a well-deserved summer break now but hopes that when he returns Poyet has kept together the players who kept Sunderland in the top flight this season.

“I’m sure that we need to keep the same core of the team because I think we have a good squad,” he said.

“We have a great combination of talents in the team.

“We have players who can win you a game but we also have players with character.

“Those players may not be technically perfectly yet but they can get better and they have already shown their value.

“I could run through every member of the team who kept their heads in an incredibly difficult situation.

“And despite the fact we spent so long in the bottom three, I think the club has some decent players already at Sunderland that can be built on for next season.”