Sunderland may tweak team for Burnley clash

Sunderland's Jordi Gomez
Sunderland's Jordi Gomez

GUS POYET wants to make the most of his options by tweaking Sunderland’s line-up on a regular basis.

The Sunderland boss has kept a relatively settled side so far this season, with eight of the starting XI playing all of the opening four Premier League games.

But beginning with tomorrow’s trip to Burnley, that is likely to change, with Poyet considering the merits of several players - including the likes of Emanuele Giaccherini, Jordi Gomez, Will Buckley and Billy Jones.

While Poyet is keen to avoid a reputation as a “tinkerman” he does believe that one or two switches to the side can be made frequently, depending on the nature of the opposition.

Poyet said: “I would love it if without changing too many players, I can affect the game every now and then from the start.

“Except if we are winning. If we are winning, I am not changing the team too much.

“But if we come to a game, I would like to say for example, we need Buckley because of the opposition left-back.

“I want to see if I can manage the team a little bit better, without being a tinker. I hate that.

“But it shouldn’t just be if you play well, you’re in, if we lose, you’re out.

“I think we’ve got options now.

“There are variations. Some give me speed, some give me mobility, some give me power.

“For example, if everybody is fit and we play Stoke, then Santi (Vergini) has got a better chance because he’s 6ft 3in. But if I need someone to go up and down, maybe I pick Billy.

“It’s changing the team, without affecting it.

“I want to mix it because we’ve got those options now.

“Of course, you’re not going to change the one who scores a hat-trick.

“But it’s doing it without going too far.

“At the moment, I haven’t done that. But players are pushing - Buckley, Giaccherini, Jordi, Liam (Bridcutt) and Billy.”

Poyet admits there is a temptation to make wholesale changes at Turf Moor, as Sunderland continue their search for a first Premier League victory of the campaign.

But the former Brighton manager realises that absence of continuity can be dangerous.

He added: “I’m not going to change five players.

“I think I’m just holding myself a little bit. I’m not in a hurry to go bang, bang, bang every game.

“But I will see if I can manage it, depending on the results.

“You cannot go crazy. I could change six players for this game, but I don’t want to change six. It’s not right.”