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Poyet asks supporters to give Bardsley a second chance
Bardsley looked to be heading through the Stadium of Light exit door after being frozen out by former manager Paolo Di Canio following a string of incidents regarding his conduct.
The 28-year-old was at the centre of Di Canio’s infamous post-match rant at the end of last season after he was pictured lying on the floor of a casino surrounded by £50 notes.
Di Canio banished Bardsley from first-team training before he suffered a broken foot playing in a development game, but the defender then angered supporters when he mocked the side’s opening day defeat to Fulham on social media site Instagram.
However, Poyet appears to have wiped the slate clean and after revealing Bardsley could play a part in tomorrow’s game at Swansea, the new Black Cats boss urged supporters to give the defender a chance to redeem himself.
“I know it's not an easy one, what I'm asking everybody is that I've decided it's my responsibility to give him another chance.
“I appeal to the people, please give him another chance. He knows what he did better than anyone, he told me he knows it wasn't right what he did, and now he gets a chance so it's up to him.
“Now I ask the supporters to let him have another chance. Let's see how he behaves and what he does, if he makes another mistake, then he's put himself in a very difficult position.
“Maybe he got lucky that there was a change of manager. Sometimes you know how it works, there is a decision in one part of the club, but then there's somebody else so he got lucky. Now it's up to him to take his chance.”
But it appears Poyet’s decision has also been swayed by football reasons, with the new manager admitting he is short of natural full-backs.
He said: “Right now I think he can help us. He's a proper full back, he can play both sides and he can be important for us. I'm going to give him another chance.
“I think he could be very important for us, especially now in a position where until last week if you talk about real full-backs there was only Ondrej Celustka. Dossena wasn't playing and Phil wasn't here. Tell me another full-back?
“It's important to have him at the club, knowing how much he cares and how he puts himself about and how strong and powerful he is.
“His attitude has been spectacular since I've come in, he's seen an opportunity and he's put himself in place to take it. I saw him on the first day and he was already coming back fitness-wise.
“Then when a player comes and asks you to play football and asks to be part of the squad, that means he knows what he's done, and he's willing to help the future of this club.”
Bardsley may not be the only player to come in from the cold at the weekend either. Poyet revealed Wes Brown has finally recovered from injury and indicated the former Manchester United defender could form an important part of his plans.
“He's fit, he's been training with us all week and he played in a behind closed doors friendly we had on Tuesday.
“It's a decision we need to make, whether somebody's fit enough to play 90 minutes or not or how many players there are in that situation. You can't take a chance. You can't have too many on the pitch that can't play 90 minutes.
“Depending on that we will make a decision on it. He could be everything that you need in the Premier League. He's experienced, he's played at the highest level at one of the best teams in the world and he knows the game well. Hopefully we can see him very soon on the pitch.”
With Sunderland lying six points adrift at the foot of the table, Poyet knows his side need to start picking up results fast and the Black Cats boss admits achieving that will only happen if everyone at the club comes together.
He said: “It’s not just about saying we need everybody pulling in the same direction. How many times have you heard people saying that? The situation we’re in is a proper one and we really need everybody onside, everybody together. And I mean all.
“There cannot be any breaks, there cannot be any splits. We need to make sure we’re all convinced this is the right way and then we stick by it, to the end. And then we’ll see where we finish.
“At the end, I will be responsible. Everybody will have some responsibility, but I’m the main one, but not until the end. Let’s not start talking about what if. We cannot buy players now, so we have to use the ones we’ve got, so we really need to pull in the same direction.”
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