Gus Poyet says he has not compromised his principles during Sunderland’s survival fight.
The Black Cats’ situation has been dire at times, but Poyet remained convinced that he could turn it around playing a game based on possession and passing.
If they take a point from tonight’s clash with West Brom they will have delivered survival without compromise and that will please Poyet almost as much as dragging the Cats back from the brink. “We did it the way we wanted to do it,” he said. “We didn’t go to (Chelsea) changing too many things, changing thestyle.
“We went there with our system and style of play, making it difficult and knowing that sooner or later we would have a chance.
“We took a little bit of risk from a corner, we left 2 v 2 at the back. They were things that we did to take advantage of the moments. If Marcos (Alonso) controlled the ball and hit it in the stands, no one remembers that corner.
“The good thing is that he hit the target, the goalkeeper dropped it and Connor was there.
“Three days before (Tim) Howard dropped two at home against Everton and no one was there.
“You learn from games and I think you always get better and more consistency and a pattern of training and play when you stick with one style.” Poyet has certainly had more success in convincing the players to get behind him that predecessor Paolo Di Canio, who had set ideas but no mandate from the squad.
“I’m trying not to praise myself,” he said.
“I just believe in what I do and the best way is to convince the players. If you can get to the players, even if they don’t like it if they understand why and there’s a reason they will go with you.”