Poyet: I have final say on Sunderland transfers

Sunderland's Will Buckley and Stoke City's Marc Muniesa and  battle for the ball.
Sunderland's Will Buckley and Stoke City's Marc Muniesa and battle for the ball.

GUS POYET has stressed that he has the final say on Sunderland’s transfer activity.

The make-up of Sunderland’s recruitment system has again been in the limelight this week after Poyet remarked in the aftermath of the 8-0 rout at Southampton that he couldn’t take responsibility for only having four defenders available for the trip to the south coast.

Poyet’s predecessor Paolo Di Canio also claimed on a television interview that he didn’t choose any of the 14 players who arrived at the Stadium of Light while he was at the helm.

But head coach Poyet has moved to clarify the relationship between himself, sporting director Lee Congerton and the club’s scouting system.

Potential new signings are either proposed by Congerton and his staff, or Poyet himself – the likes of summer captures Will Buckley and Santiago Vergini falling into the latter category.

But it is still Poyet who makes the ultimate decision on whether to press ahead with a concrete move for a target.

He said: “I’ve got a yes or no on a player.

“Every player who comes here, I agree.

“There is no-one among the ones we signed in the summer that I said ‘no’ and the club said ‘yes’.

“That doesn’t mean I choose every single player. Let’s not be naive.

“There is a working system, a recruiting system where we look at players and look at options and from those options we’re going to pick one or the other.

“(Fabio) Borini and Marcos Alonso were easy for me. They were my picks.

“They are not here, but Buckley was my pick and he is here.

“That was no recruitment system, it was me.

“But that’s how it works in any other place.”

Poyet insists he was not being critical of Congerton when he drew attention to Sunderland’s scant defensive resources at Southampton, with the Black Cats subsequently boosting their options at the back by landing free agent Anthony Reveillere.

The Sunderland boss said he was simply maintaining his views on the need for seven defenders in the squad, rather than being a hypocrite.

Before the end of the transfer window, Poyet publicly claimed Sunderland needed seven options at the back and continued to reiterate that the Black Cats were a body short when the deadline passed.

“Look, I know that normally it sounds very negative and I understand why because of what happened in the past,” he added.

“But I’m just trying to be honest and say I’m the head coach.

“It sounded like ‘don’t blame me now’ but I was saying that when Billy (Jones) was fit and when Sebber (Sebastian Coates) played against Stoke that we were short.

“What I said was that I don’t want eight players at the back, I want seven.

“We started the season with six. I’d have been contradicting myself.

“Now it’s easier we’ve got one more.”