Gus Poyet unlikely to rip Sunderland system up at Crystal Palace

KEEPING FAITH: Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
KEEPING FAITH: Sunderland manager Gus Poyet

GUS POYET insists it is premature for Sunderland to consider abandoning the system they have worked on for the last four months.

Sunderland predominantly used a 4-1-4-1 formation throughout last season after Poyet took charge, and the Black Cats have worked with that strategy throughout pre-season and during the opening exchanges of the current campaign.

Back-to-back defeats, coupled with Sunderland’s descent into the bottom three, has understandably prompted question marks over whether a fresh approach is needed on the tactics board.

But head coach Poyet plans to keep faith with his formation – believing it is the 8-0 defeat at Southampton a fortnight ago which has overshadowed Sunderland’s previous success with the system.

“I think it’s early to go too clever. I don’t think it’s time to change the shape or do something silly,” said Poyet.

“It’s all because of one game.

“If we didn’t play Southampton and we had lost against Arsenal after the win against Stoke, then everyone would just be saying ‘okay, mistakes happen’.

“But the Southampton one is the game that’s killed us and we need to put that behind us.”

Rather than looking for a fresh approach, Sunderland’s work on the training ground this week has centred around returning to the elementary building blocks ahead of Monday night’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Poyet added: “I want basics now. Go back to basics.

“That’s what makes a team, when you’ve got basics and you do the basics all the time.

“We’ve been training hard trying to go back to basics.

“We need to make sure we defend like we did before Southampton.

“There will be times when they (Palace) are on top and we need to defend, and when we are on top, we need to score.

“Those things need to change quickly because we are down there.”