REPORTERS on the Sunderland beat have got used to Gus Poyet’s downbeat demeanour in the wake of a poor performance
He takes defeats badly, and he takes bad defeats very badly.
The game against Aston Villa the Stadium of Light was a bad defeat.
And in a brief post-match press conference, Poyet knew he needed to keep his thoughts and emotions under control.
“It was not a good day for me and I need to be very, very careful what I say because it could bring consequences,” he said.
“So because of that, I’m going to say little or nothing – I’m sorry about that but it’s for the best.
“I’m disappointed with the game and the result – I didn’t expect it.”
The implication was clear – he did not want to do a ‘Paolo’.
He did not want to emulate predecessor Paolo Di Canio and lay into his players because he was frustrated at their shortcomings.
He knew that could be counter-productive though the temptation must have been there.
Clearly, there was turmoil in the dressing room given skipper Lee Cattermole did not emerge for the second half after a torrid first 45 minutes.
Normally, the captain would have been the perfect pick for a second half where Sunderland needed to be up for the fight – but the head coach was concerned his appearance could have been counter-productive.
He explained: “After Lee’s unfortunate mistake, it was very difficult for him and for the players to maintain a good relationship with the fans.
“And I thought it was better for the whole team and the whole of the fans and the stadium and the atmosphere, to leave him out in the second half.
“I left him out not for the mistake but because it was better for the team.
“It was a difficult situation for us.
“It was tough to take because in the Premier League you have to take your chances when you start well, because you never know what is going to happen.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances, and when the mistake came, it was us who made it.
“Then there is too much tension, too much nerves and too much making the wrong decisions.”