Gus Poyet happy to work under Sunderland director of football Roberto De Fanti


GUS POYET is happy to work in Sunderland’s director of football model after operating under a similar system at former club Brighton.

Black Cats owner Ellis Short decided to adopt a Continental management structure during the summer, with ex-agent Roberto De Fanti installed as the club’s first director of football to oversee Sunderland’s recruitment.

Despite the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio, that system has remained, with De Fanti and Sunderland’s all-Italian scouting team still in place at the Stadium of Light.

Like Di Canio, new boss Poyet has been appointed under the title of head coach, rather than manager, yet it is a familiar model for the Uruguayan.

Poyet spent 16 months working alongside ex-Manchester City, Fulham and Southampton scout David Burke at Brighton after he was appointed the Seagulls’ head of football operations in January 2012.

And after ending Sunderland’s search for a new man in the dug-out, Poyet insists he had no qualms about working alongside De Fanti.

He told the Echo: “I am used to it. It was a process we had a Brighton as well.

“At Brighton, I was the manager and then the chairman came to me and asked me to work with a sporting director, who took the title head of football operations.

“It amounts to the same thing.

“I was not afraid because I know what I want and I know how it (the system) works.

“As long as we are all on the same page and we are all realistic, I have no issues.”

Short turned to De Fanti after becoming disillusioned with how a series of big-money signings in the Steve Bruce and Martin O’Neill eras had failed to improve Sunderland’s fortunes.

Italian De Fanti was the one responsible for bringing 14 players to the Stadium of Light during the summer, yet Di Canio still had an input into the final decision on signing those fresh faces.

And Poyet realises how important it is that the arrangement between the director of football and head coach is an effective one, if it is to succeed on Wearside.

“I need to make sure that I connect well with him (De Fanti) and that we have a good working relationship,” added Poyet.

“It is not about simply being friends, but making sure that you understand one another – for him to understand what we need and for him to find what we need.”