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Poyet warns there must be no more excuses or mistakes
THEY have scored five own goals and had three players sent off recently, but Gus Poyet is in no mood to talk about excuses, insisting it is up to his players to ensure they make no more silly mistakes.
Poyet has seen the good, the bad and the ugly since taking over from Paolo Di Canio, but the bad has far outweighed the good with the Black Cats shooting themselves in the foot several times.
In his ten games in charge, they have gifted the opposition five own goals while his side were reduced to nine men at Hull and ten men (wrongfully) at Stoke City.
It has been calamitous from the Wearsiders on a number of occasions this season and Poyet admits he isn’t willing to accept five own goals as bad luck.
“ It can be an excuse but me, I said it with the own goals: one or two - I'll even give you three and it sounds unlucky. Five? I'm not taking that,” said Poyet, whose side visit West Ham this afternoon.
“I'm not going to come in here and tell you that five is hard luck. So I needed to put the players in a better position, helping them in training, showing them things and making sure that when the next cross is coming we're in a better position not to score an own goal.
Although he admitted his players must prove they are good enough to play in the Premier League following Saturday’s defeat, Poyet remained quite reserved and refrained from publicly persecuting his players after squandering an early lead.
Unlike his predecessor, the Black Cats boss believes criticising his players in the press won’t help matters as they attempt to claw back a five point gap at the bottom.
He said: “My mood was a little bit of sadness. It was down, it was serious, it was calm and quiet. I have been happy but it is a limit. I cannot go over the top.
“I always said there is a limit that you can get to - over that you become a little bit silly or stupid and I don't want to do that.
“It's going to be a very strange. I don't think on Saturday I was trying to send a message through the press.
“My reaction on Saturday night was sadness. I was hurt. I was expecting something different from the team, especially in the second half after being one-nil up and conceding in the last minute.
“I didn't get that. The first person responsible is me but at the same time I'm realistic and we're all together. I'm not going to take it all on my shoulders, I'm not that stupid. I'm going to take my part, which is very big and first but then it is the way it is.”
The defeat to Spurs has had to be forgotten quickly with the small matter of a trip to West Ham this afternoon.
Sam Allardyce’s men lie 17th in the table and Poyet revealed he has seen a positive response from his players in their preparation.
“It would say the beginning of the week was difficult, but after yesterday, yes. I have got the reaction from the players I wanted,” revealed Poyet, who has no fresh injury concerns ahead of today’s trip to Upton Park. “I’m looking at today. Every single decision is important. Every single one. Every single detail is important.
“I wouldn’t like to have watched training and saw someone score an own goal, because that would give me thoughts that the players didn’t get it. In this kind of situation I like to see the team going into the game convinced that we are alright. Let’s play the game and see who we are.”
Captain John O’Shea has been the subject of some criticism from supporters recently, but Poyet insists he will stand by his leader.
He said: “He’s a player that has played at the highest level. He’s won the Premier League, he’s our captain.
“It would be very easy to drop him if someone else criticises him but I know what I want from him and like any other player he needs time. At the moment everything is fine.”
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