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Poyet insists he's not going to be like Paolo at Sunderland
NEW Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet met the players for the first time yesterday and then asked not to be compared to his predecessor, Paolo Di Canio.
After two weeks of talks and deliberation, the club's owner Ellis Short handed the South American his first Premier League managerial post on Wearside.
Now Poyet will be expected to turnaround Sunderland's season and keep the North-East outfit in the top-flight after a start which has seen them collect just one point from their opening seven games.
Such a run of results led to Di Canio's sacking 17 days ago when senior members of the playing staff called for his removal during a meeting with chief executive Margaret Byrne.
Comparisons in the styles of both managers have been drawn in recent days, with Poyet described in a few places has being Di Canio-lite.
However, during the 45-year-old's opening press conference at the Academy of Light yesterday afternoon, Sunderland's new boss thinks such talk is harsh.
“It's unfair to compare me with anyone,” said Poyet, given a contract until the end of next season. “I am not talking about Paolo now, I am talking about anyone. It's impossible, we are all different.
“The difference you are going to see is through the process. I think I am a little old fashioned, everything will be done inside these four walls.”
He added: “The time of Paolo has come to an end. We are all different. You cannot compare me to anyone. I am not better or worse, I am different.”
Di Canio's 13-match tenure ultimately ended disastrously, even if he achieved short term aims of keeping Sunderland in the Premier League last season.
Poyet's first task is very similar. He needs to transform the fortunes on the pitch and he is looking forward to leading a dressing room which ultimately rebelled against his predecessor.
“It doesn't worry me at all (what the players did). Not one minute,” said Poyet. “It's difficult to talk about my style. I try to make it easy for the players to go on to the pitch and feel comfortable, without excuses.
“To go on to the pitch and perform to their best. There are no doubts in their mind. We have to make sure we use their strengths. There are players with plenty of quality here.”
He added: “I follow my instinct a lot. There's a sentence in football which I think is wrong. They say 'he is a good manager because he treats every player the same way'. That's one of the biggest lies in football.
“There's no manager who treats every player the same way, he doesn't exist. Every player is different. Every player has a different character.
“The manager always has three or four favourites, then there's the leaders, the young ones, they are all different. Everybody needs to be treated in a different way.”
Poyet met the players yesterday before taking training for the first time. He will now focus on preparing the squad for the trip to Swansea on October 19 and then has an exciting first home game pencilled in against Newcastle eight days later.
Preparations, though, are made harder by the fact nine of his first team squad are away on international duty.
He said: “For a player, if you have a manager at the start of the season, then an interim manager for two weeks and then a new one, it is never easy.
“They have been getting different information from different people. I just ask them to believe and be really open minded in the beginning.
“They need to take it on board and to take it on board very quickly and understand what we need to do. Those who do it quickest stand a greater chance of playing. It's about knowing about everything we need to do on the pitch, to commit to the cause and we need to do it quickly. That's the most difficult part.”
Poyet has brought with him his coaching staff from Brighton, where he was controversially sacked in June. Mauricio Taricco will be his assistant, while Charlie Oatway will be a coach and Andy Beasley will work with the goalkeepers.
The former Chelsea midfielder knows the task facing him is a big one, but one he is excited by.
He said: “It's a big challenge. In terms of coaching and managing this is the biggest challenge and I like it. Just because it is difficult, doesn't mean it is impossible. I know it is a big challenge.
“A big part of the process is the results and it depends on us. If I'm here it's because I believe it is possible to do well. I am confident, very confident, but I am a very positive person.
“But I have to make sure the ones who are confident are the players. I need to convince them of the way I am expecting to win games. They need to be convinced that it's possible. That's the biggest challenge for me, to convince the players it is possible as quickly as possible.”
Kevin Ball will resume coaching duties with the Under-21s after being overlooked for the manager's job. Poyet indicated he wants Ball to have a big part to play in his set-up.
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