GUS Poyet wants consistently good performances from his side – but says he will accept erratic displays just so long as the team picks up points.
So far, the new Sunderland head coach has a Premier League record of a loss at Swansea, a win against Newcastle and a loss to Hull City.
And he admits that if the sequence of a loss followed by a win continues from now until the end of the season, he will be happy enough.
“If you ask me what I would like to see happen and I was selfish, I would say I would accept winning one and then losing one from now on,” he said.
“If we were to continue with that record from now until the end of the season, winning one game out of every two, we would be safe, that’s for sure – it is easy to work out.
“But what is certain is that we need to pick up points regularly.”
That’s easier said than done, of course – with Manchester City next up at the Stadium of Light in the league on Sunday!
“I need to remember that we have only won one game in the whole of this season so far, so we need to win more games than usual,” said Poyet, whose side takes a break from Premier League struggles tomorrow night when they host Southampton in the Capital One Cup.
“Obviously, every coach wants consistency and ultimately that’s what we are after here at Sunderland.
“But at the moment it is points we need and that will mean having to take gambles in games.
“The idea is to win and to do that we need to take a risk, so it might be that the results will continue to be unpredictable.”
Poyet changed personnel and formation for the visit to Hull at the weekend but neither paid off. But he says he will continue to be bold if he has to in a bid to conjure up much-needed points.
We are in a position where we have to take risks in games and that can take all sorts of forms.
“So for me, against Newcastle, it was a risk taking out Lee Cattermole – who is a player you know will give you 100 per cent and be physical – and replacing him with Ki Sung-Yueng.
“Cattermole is perfect for a derby game but we put in a player who in some respects is the opposite – a player who is maybe going to get on the ball a bit more and make us play a bit more.
“Maybe another manager would have taken the 1-1 that day but we are not in that situation, we cannot take one point so easily in the situation we are in.
“If the chance is there for us to win the game, then we will go out and try to win it.
“Of course there are some circumstances where one point is a good thing and you have to accept it.
“But if we have a game that is balanced, where it is also possible we could win, then I think we have to consider going for it.
“We have to start every game thinking about winning and then see how it goes and make our decisions during the game.
“But we will continue making decisions that might seem a little strange to the fans at times – all those decisions though, will be ways of trying to get the wins we need.”
– GRAEME ANDERSON