Poyet: Everton victory is the best present

The Advertiser Series: TEAM EFFORT: Sunderland’s players gather after Ki Sung-Yeung’s first-half penalty which went on to be the only goal of the game at Goodison Park TEAM EFFORT: Sunderland’s players gather after Ki Sung-Yeung’s first-half penalty which went on to be the only goal of the game at Goodison Park

SUNDERLAND manager Gus Poyet said yesterday’s win over Everton was the best Christmas present he could have wished for, but admitted he can’t explain why his side can only beat teams at the top as they fight for survival at the bottom.

The Black Cats earned their first win at Goodison Park in 17 years thanks to Ki Sung-Yeung’s first half penalty after Tim Howard brought down the South Korean following a mistake by Leon Osman.

The Toffees goalkeeper was given his marching orders for being the last man and despite a second half onslaught from Roberto Martinez’s men, Sunderland stood firm and held on to record their win away win of the season.

The result means Sunderland, who remain bottom of the Premier League, are now three points from safety and will go into tomorrow’s trip to 16th-placed Cardiff with a renewed sense of optimism despite wins for Crystal Palace and Fulham spoiling their result slightly.

It also means the Black Cats have beaten Newcastle, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton this season, while they continue to struggle against the teams in and around them at the bottom – something Poyet admits he has no explanation for.

“I have no explanation for that,” said the Black Cats boss, whose side won yesterday without their two first-choice centre-backs. “I don't know how or why. I was so disappointed the other day when we draw with Norwich.

“I think it's us. We cannot blame anyone. We had the chances to beat the teams around us and we always do something wrong, we get a player sent off or don't score from two yards.

“And then when we play a top team, something happens the other way. We need to change that if we want to stay up – starting at Cardiff.”

The Wearsiders went into yesterday’s game knowing the Toffees were unbeaten at home this season, but even against ten men they had to work and Poyet was glad his side didn’t pass up the opportunity that was presented to them when Howard was dismissed.

He said: “That was the best present you could have given me, three points. It was a good day.

“It was extremely difficult even against ten men. Football is incredible. You just never know what is going to happen.

“We had a plan to make it difficult for Everton. We wanted to make sure we were organised and to make sure we worked hard. Everything changed with the mistake. You cannot plan that. I always say that sometimes there are games with accidents and that was a big accident for us. We took advantage.

“And then, probably because of the situation we are in, we ended up defending for our lives. It is easy to see, but very difficult to change. For us, three points is incredible. I have said this before, but I still believe (in us)."

It is a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s game at Cardiff, but Poyet hopes the victory at Goodison Park can be a turning point in his side’s season.

“I hope (it can change season). I have said that a few times now, but I hope this time because too many times it hasn't happened.

“I would like to win a few more games before the last weekend end of January. At least two.

“We won today so let's see if we can get some extra points and then reorganise after the January transfer window.”

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