Gus Poyet will never betray his football prinicples, says first-team coach

Gus Poyet would rather walk away from Sunderland than revert to a long-ball game in an effort to save the club from relegation, according to Charlie Oatway

Scott Heavey/Getty Images Sunderland head coach Gustavo Poyet during his side's match against Stoke City
Sunderland head coach Gustavo Poyet during his side's match against Stoke City

Gus Poyet would rather walk away from Sunderland than revert to a long-ball game in an effort to save the club from relegation.

The Uruguayan will never betray his football principles this season no matter what pressure is heaped upon him, according to first-team coach Charlie Oatway.

Historically, teams at the bottom of the league tend to go back to basics in a bid to scrap their way out of the bottom three. But that won’t happen at Sunderland as long as this management team are in situ.

Oatway, standing in at yesterday’s Press conference for the manager who was ill, said: “If you are asking whether we will go direct from the first minute of a game to the last ever, that’s a no. The day that happens we will walk out. That’s my personal opinion. I haven’t spoke to Gus about that right enough. But this is the way we want to play.

“You have to remember that I didn’t know them when they walked into Brighton. They convinced me that it does work – because I was a little bit old-fashioned in that sense and I have learned. It does work.

“As a neutral, if I wanted to go and watch a football match, I would go and watch one of Gus’ teams. I really would.

“Can it work here? I would like to think so. The majority of the sides play football. Who really goes back to front there days

“I watched us before we got here and compared to what we are now, I have seen an improvement. I have watched the games. This isn’t me being loyal or a bit blinkered, I have seen the proof that it does work, and has worked.

“Now we just need to get the points and make sure its concrete in people’s heads that it does work.”

Sunderland travel to in-form Everton on Boxing Day and few will give them any chance of taking anything against one of the Premier League’s best sides.

Their cause will not be helped if John O’Shea doesn’t recover from a shoulder injury. Oatway revealed the club would know today whether the captain will make the match on Merseyside.

With Wes Brown suspended, O’Shea is the last person Poyet could do without.

Sunderland need to start winning games and despite Poyet being under the weather, his work rate is not going to decrease.

Oatway said: “In a nice way – and I’m not trying to be funny – Gus is mad.

“What I mean by that is he will watch our game two or three games after. He will have watched Everton God knows how many times by now so he would have digested the pluses and minuses of the game itself.

“He won’t be giving up. That won’t be happening at all and even when it is mathematically impossible, we will adjust and dust ourselves down and think about what’s going to happen or what isn’t going to happen. At this moment in time there is a lot to play for and there’s a lot of fight in us and in the club.

“We’ll still be marching on trying to get points against Everton.

“Talk is cheap. We know there are a few teams around us that are going to find it hard and at this moment of time we are one of them. But we need to make sure that come the end of the season we’re not. We just need to start winning games.”

What happens over the next two weeks could well decide Sunderland’s fate – and Otway knows this.

He said: “I don’t know if this period is make or break, but it is a time when people look to get momentum with so many games in a short space of time and so many points on offer.

“You could come out of it all smiles or on the other hand you could come out of it crying. You need to get some sort of balance.”

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