Poyet - I want to stop being the tinkerman

GUS POYET wants to bring an end to his tinkering habits in the second half of the campaign.

The Sunderland boss is yet to name an unchanged line-up in 14 games so far this season, albeit there is a strong possibility that he may break his duck in tonight’s teatime visit of Premier League leaders Chelsea to the Stadium of Light.

Injuries and suspensions have somewhat forced Poyet’s hand, yet the Uruguayan admits that several of his changes have stemmed from the continuing search for Sunderland’s strongest XI.

However, Poyet is looking to establish a more settled line-up in the New Year and believes Sunderland will reap the rewards from that.

Poyet said: “In terms of what I would like to achieve, yes, it’s not been ideal, especially from Saturday to Saturday.

“I was expecting to name the same team by now.

“There’s not one reason behind it.

“But after the Christmas period, I’d like to have a little bit of consistency in certain areas – particularly the back six with the defence, goalkeeper and holding midfielder.

“Obviously, it depends on circumstances. But it would be perfect to have that consistency.

“Look at Chelsea, they won the game last Saturday, picked the same team for the Champions League and I cannot see too many changes today.

“They’ve got top-class players on the bench too. I would like to find the best XI, but I don’t think I’ve found it yet.”

Poyet is unlikely to keep a settled side over the next eight days though.

The quick-fire demands of Wednesday’s visit of reigning champions Manchester City before next Saturday’s trip to Liverpool, will see the Sunderland head coach shuffle his pack.

Regardless of Poyet’s selection, Sunderland face an uphill battle to keep their tally ticking over, albeit Liverpool are currently enduring a miserable run of form.

But Poyet insists he hasn’t set a points target from the three games, with his sole focus on the visit of Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten side.

“It’s difficult for me to plan a number of points from these three games,” he added. “Naturally, people will say we would take four.

“But then if we drew three games against these top three clubs, would they take that?

“Or is it better to beat one and lose the other two?

“It’s difficult. The next game is always the most important one for me.”


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