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Swans highlight the size of the job Poyet has at Sunderland
GUS POYET was given an immediate reminder of the size of the task facing him at Swansea City this afternoon as Sunderland suffered a second half collapse.
After a largely uneventful first half in which Poyet looked to have made the Black Cats more solid in his first game in charge, the Swans took total command after the restart with three goals inside seven minutes on their way to a 4-0 win.
Full-back Phil Bardsley marked his return to the team by turning Swansea's first in to his own net in the 57th minute.
Jonathan De Guzman showed his quality less than a minute later when he curled in a beautiful second from 25 yards to increase the lead.
Swansea striker Wilfried Bony made it three from the spot 25 minutes before the end as Poyet was forced to ponder how to make this Sunderland team resilient before next Sunday's Wear-Tyne derby with Newcastle United.
With Newcastle's director of football Joe Kinnear watching on ahead of the Magpies' visit to the Stadium of Light, Spanish defender Chico Flores then added a fourth ten minutes before time.
This was Sunderland's sixth straight Premier League defeat; a run which has seen them collect just a single point from the opening 24 available to them.
One of Poyet's first selection decisions as Sunderland boss was to immediately reinstate Bardsley to the side. The full-back, who was discarded by Paolo Di Canio, had not played since last season.
Injury has played a part too, but a derogatory social media outburst and his antics in a casino back in May infuriated sections of the Sunderland support.
And while there was no loud criticism of him at the Liberty, there are still large numbers of fans against his return to the fold.
He picked up an early yellow card, got away with a poor pass which almost cost Sunderland dear and could have scored himself at the right end before turning beyond Westwood on an eventful afternoon for him.
This was not a performance purely about Bardsley, though. This was about a group of players clearly lacking confidence while there remains huge question marks over the recruitment carried out in the summer by director of football Roberto De Fanti.
But Poyet must come up with a way of transforming this set of players in to a group capable of closing a six-point gap to the Premier League safety zone. At this stage a place in the Championship looks more likely.
While there was a slice of misfortune about the way Bardsley turned in De Guzman's corner and brilliance about the second, there was stupidity about the other two.
Gardner was clumsy in tripping Britton for Bony's penalty, while the fourth goal arrived courtesy of awful defending to a set-piece when Chico Flores arrived free to turn in another De Guzman delivery.
The scoreline could have been worse. Westwood also made two stunning second half saves to deny Michu and De Guzman, when Sunderland could not really have argued had Swansea added more.
Either way, the change of manager has brought the heaviest defeat of the season so far for Sunderland. Roll on Newcastle.
SUNDERLAND: Westwood; Celustka, O'Shea, Roberge, Bardsley; Cattermole, Gardner; Larsson, Giaccherini (Colback 61), Johnson (Borini 61); Fletcher (Altidore 82). Subs: Mannone, Dossena, Vaughan, Cuellar.
SWANSEA CITY: Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Amat, Davies (Taylor 53); Britton, de Guzman; Dyer, Michu, Routledge (Pozuelo 81); Bony ( Vazquez 76). Subs: Tremmel (gk), Tiendalli, Canas, Shelvey.
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