Being Sunderland’s Gus Poyet means never having to say sorry – almost!

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet

GUS POYET has broken his own rules about saying sorry to apologise for Sunderland’s shambolic defeat at Southampton.

An unwritten law exists in the Sunderland dressing room which bans those responsible for making mistakes from expressing their remorse to the rest of the side.

The idea behind the policy is to prevent errors becoming an acceptable regular occurrence.

But Poyet admits that after suffering the heaviest defeat of his career as either a player or manager, he must apologise to Sunderland supporters for what they witnessed on the south coast.

Poyet said: “I set up a thing in my teams which is a bit contradictory to most other managers.

“I don’t like people coming into the dressing room and saying sorry.

“The reason is that if you make a mistake, you come to the rest and say sorry, and they say ‘good man’.

“The next week, another makes a mistake and says sorry and it’s okay.

“Then you think if you make a mistake, it’s not a problem.

“Don’t say sorry. Swallow it.

“We know, we’re looking at you!

“I don’t want to have the chance to say sorry, so don’t give it me.

“I need to feel that your mistake was our mistake, so we don’t make another mistake.

“I’m not the type of person that likes to apologise.

“But yes, I have to say sorry for this one to the fans.

“They were great, they stood by us, kept singing and stayed in.

“I suppose they knew better than me that it was something unique.”

The majority of the 2,600 Sunderland fans who travelled to St Mary’s remained in the ground until the final whistle and still applauded the team at the final whistle.

And Poyet confidently predicts that if he had been managing a side in his native Uruguay, then the supporters would not have been so forgiving.

“In Uruguay, we wouldn’t have been able to applaud them,” he added.

“And then they would probably have waited for us after the game... in a bad way.

“We’re very, very lucky!”