Poyet’s warning for Sunderland against crisis-hit Southampton

WARNING ... Poyet.
WARNING ... Poyet.

GUS Poyet says Sunderland cannot afford false dawns as he takes his team into an important home game against Southampton this weekend.

The Black Cats have been buoyed by their 4-1 win over Fulham last weekend and are excited about next week’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

But Poyet is at pains to point out that resurgent Sunderland cannot afford to take their eyes off the ball for a single moment – even though Southampton are in crisis, with Nicola Cortese quitting last night and rumours manager Mauricio Pochettino could follow him.

Poyet said: “We have to stay focused and what we’re trying to do is to maintain calm.

“We didn’t kill ourselves as a group when we lost a game – OK we were down for a few hours, which is natural, but we tried to keep it in perspective.

“And we have to do exactly the same thing now that we have won a game well and have had a decent run. We must not get carried away because as soon as you take things for granted, that’s when you get caught out and pay the price.

“So I would like to have a good performance and a good result on Saturday against Southampton because if we do, the atmosphere on Wednesday at Old Trafford will be incredible.

“The first thing to do though is to make sure we are in the right mood by putting in a good performance against Southampton this weekend.”

Poyet knows all about Pochettino’s Saints side, having watched them several times earlier in the season at St Mary’s, when he was making preparations in the hope of landing a Premier League job.

He said: “I have to say that for the first two or three months they were one of the best sides in the division to watch.

“Of course then you have a difficult period where you have a lot of games and then some injuries and suspensions and then the form changes.

“But a squad like that is a good one and capable of coming good at any time.

“They are still having a good season and they are a side that could easily go on another run, like they did at the start of the season.

“”We are in a good frame of mind after our recent run but we know it will be extremely difficult against Southampton this weekend, they will be very tough opponents.”