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I still believe we can survive, says Black Cats boss
GUS POYET believes he can keep Sunderland in the Premier League despite lying five points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Black Cats owner Ellis Short chose the Uruguayan as the man he felt could steer the club away from relegation following Paulo Di Canio’s problematic reign.
It hasn’t quite gone to plan for the Wearsiders, though, and ten games into Poyet’s reign Sunderland are exactly where they were when he took over: rock bottom.
Even worse, a five-point gap has opened up between them and safety making today’s trip to 17th-placed West Ham United crucial in their quest to avoid relegation.
Defeat could see the gap to safety grow even more, but with 23 games still to play Poyet believes his side can still achieve survival and insists his belief hasn’t changed since the day he took over.
“I believe I can (keep Sunderland up),” Poyet said. “I see things that are getting better and that we are good enough to get two or three wins or maybe a draw before January 2. If we make some adjustments I think it is possible.
“My belief hasn’t diminished since I came here. There are things that were better than I thought and things that were worse than I thought. It is difficult to put them together and say it is exactly the same. There were things I thought would be easier and things that I thought would be difficult.
“Today, I still feel it is possible even looking at the table. It looks terrible, but you will see me in a few weeks time and I’m always going to tell the truth or you won’t see me and that means something is not working for sure!
“From what I know, no-body at the club has given up. It would be silly to give up because there are so many games.”
Poyet cut a forlorn figure in the aftermath of last Saturday’s home defeat to Spurs. As a manager, the former Chelsea midfielder has never been in the position he finds himself in now and the Black Cats boss admits he isn’t enjoying life at the wrong end of the table.
He said: “When will I smile again? When we win a game. In the beginning we couldn't win a game, then we won - against our biggest rivals - then two sendings off and boom, we go back again.
“Then we play Manchester City and people think we have no chance but we win and get a clean sheet. Oh my god, it looked like it was the best clean sheet in the history of the club.
“Then we go to Stoke, a bad decision and down to ten men. And again, boom! Then you think you're doing alright because you have a decent game against Villa you have the crazy game against Chelsea. So if you analyse individually there was something (going on) every time.
“When I've been in charge I've not had periods like this but I accepted the challenge and I'm not going to hide. I have no problems. Is it enjoyable? No. But I don't think everyone gets a job and enjoys it - that would be a dream job.
“That's what I said to the players: You want to earn money? Yes. You want to play football? Yes. You've got a nice place to train? Yes. So you're lucky, you're enjoying your life.
“At the moment I'm not really enjoying my life but it is the way it is. I'll try and enjoy it in a few weeks' time.
“It was quiet in the house on Saturday night. They (his family) knew it wasn’t the right day to talk to me. They know me. They’ve been there when I was a player so they know me.”
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