Sunderland’s out of contract players will try just as hard as team-mates

Phil Bardsley, Sunderland (left) and Leon Osman, Everton battle for the ball
Phil Bardsley, Sunderland (left) and Leon Osman, Everton battle for the ball

GUS Poyet believes Sunderland’s out-of-contract footballers will try just as hard to keep the club in the Premier League as their team-mates.

The Black Cats have a host of players who are out of contract this summer and Poyet has already revealed that two of them, first-team regulars Phil Bardsley and Jack Colback look certain to leave in the close season.

But the Uruguayan says he has seen no change in the attitude of players who continue to work hard to keep the club up.

“The players who are coming to the end of their contracts understand the situation,” said Poyet.

“None of them are being treated any differently to their team-mates and their attitude has been excellent.

“We have to remain united and look towards one single objective, which is fighting to keep this club in the Premier League as long as possible.”

The Black Cats’ boss says Sunderland could not have produced the performance they did at the Etihad on Wednesday – when they were desperately unlucky not to take all three points – had they all not been working hard for each other.

“There is so much talk around the game at this stage of the season because of the situations at clubs and the pressures that exist.

“And there has been a lot of talk around our club in recent weeks, some of it silly.

“So I think we have to concentrate on the job rather than talk too much and I saw that concentration from my players this week.

“What I liked about our display against City was how focused we were on the job we faced.

“We went a goal down there but no-one complained, all we did was concentrate on our football and work hard to get back into the game.

“That’s what we need to do at this club - both until the end of the season and in the long-term too.

“I have to make the most of my squad and that includes out-of-contract players and those on the fringes.

“The idea is to use them.

“Look at Emanuele Giaccherini and Connor Wickham and the impact they made at Manchester City this week.

“What happens next depends upon them, if they continue to play that well, they will continue to be involved.

“The same applies to all players, whatever the situation with their contract or their appearances so far.