GUSTAVO POYET thinks Sunderland’s latest defensive recruit possesses the required attributes to prevent a repeat of last season’s battle to stay in the Premier League.

Sebastian Coates agreed a season-long loan switch from Liverpool before Monday’s transfer deadline and will compete with John O’Shea, Wes Brown and Santiago Vergini for a starting spot.

Coates is well regarded in his Uruguayan homeland and his compatriot, Poyet, is looking to get the best out of him.

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If he can, Poyet believes the Montevideo-born defender will do everything he can to help Sunderland achieve their goals.

“Seba has all the characteristics needed to be a success in England as a central defender. He’s very big, can use the ball and his Uruguayan mentality means he will defend to the death,” said Poyet.

The Black Cats boss was speaking to newspaper Aguanten Che about life in the Premier League and his career, but did single out Sunderland on a couple of occasions.

And he hinted he could target further footballers from his home nation, having already tried to land Cristian Rodriguez earlier in the summer.

He said: “For some unfathomable reason, the Uruguayans will have a little fear of the language and being unable to adapt to the environment. I think the opposite: English football is ideal for Uruguayans.”

With the transfer window shut, however, Poyet will have to make do with what he has until January.

Coates and Ricardo Alvarez, from Inter Milan, were deadline day arrivals, and the man in charge hopes the tinkering to his squad will help to avoid a relegation fight.

Asked what his goals are this season? Poyet said: “Not to suffer. We have to keep the belief in the team and not give up on our methods.”

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Sunderland: Burke (Purvis 65), Cartwright, Beadling (McNamee 25), Ferguson, T Robson, E Robson (Pybus 80), Smith, Agnew, Greenwood, Lawson, Watmore.