Poyet: I thought Sunderland would be better by now

John O'Shea tries to deal with the threat of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho
John O'Shea tries to deal with the threat of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

GUS POYET admits Sunderland are further behind in their development than he was expecting at this stage of his tenure.

Sunderland suffered a third defeat in four Premier League outings today after a dismal display - particularly in the first half - saw them succumb to Liverpool.

The Black Cats have registered just one Stadium of Light victory in the league all season, with Poyet’s men taking only one point since the platform of last month’s Tyne-Wear derby win at St James’s Park.

Defeat kept Sunderland in the thick of the relegation dogfight, and Poyet concedes that he was expecting to see more, 15 months into his stint as Black Cats head coach.

“I’m disappointed because I thought by now I would have a better impact on how the team plays,” said Poyet.

“Unfortunately, I was wrong.

“It has been more difficult than what I thought.

“Some players are taking longer to do the basics and they need to keep working. There’s no other way.

“It’s too easy to blame somebody else.

“We need to select better. We need everybody back definitely.”

Poyet believes Sunderland were unable to recover from the depths of their first half display, with Lazar Markovic breaking the deadlock for Liverpool, who could - and should - have been out of sight by the interval.

Sunderland actually improved when they were reduced to 10 men early in the second half after Liam Bridcutt was dismissed for a second yellow card.

“We lost 45 minutes of a very important game and when you do that against a team like Liverpool, normally you get punished,” said Poyet.

“We tried, it was incredible when we were down to 10 men, we played better and passed the ball better, but on the day, it wasn’t enough.”

“It’s a good way of learning that you cannot give away too much time in games.”

Poyet had no issue with Bridcutt’s dismissal, yet felt Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho could also have been sent off for two yellows.

Coutinho was booked in the first half for failing to withdraw 10 yards from a free-kick and did the same after the break, yet without the same repercussions.

“They are fouls,” said Poyet on Bridcutt’s dismissal.

“He stopped an attack so by the rules, they could be yellows. I’m honest.

“But by the rules, Coutinho should have 2 yellows. You can’t pick and choose.

“You referee by the rules, or referee by common sense.

“The referee picked by both, and that is not acceptable.”