Just over two weeks after Paolo Di Canio’s sacking as Sunderland manager, former Brighton manager Gus Poyet has been named as Di Canio’s successor as head coach of Sunderland. The Black Cats sit rock bottom at the foot of the Premier League table and have only 1 point from 7 games this season. Poyet will hope to bring back Sunderland’s form, and rebuild their hopes of staying up this season.
Speaking to the club website, Poyet said: “I look forward to proving my ability to the fans – I want them to believe because we need to stick together.”
“I think the key behind my strong home record at Brighton was the connection with the fans – I can see that here,” added the 45 year old Uruguayan.
Poyet’s only previous managerial role was a four-year spell at second-tier Brighton and Hove Albion but he was sacked as manager in June earlier this year.
Although Di Canio similarly had no top-flight coaching experience when he was appointed in March, Poyet rejected comparisons between the two men saying: “The time of Paolo has come to an end and it is time to move forward,”
“We are all different. You cannot compare me to anyone. I am not better or worse, I am different. I don’t want to be compared to anyone, even the best. It is not right.”
Poyet becomes Sunderland’s sixth permanent head coach in less than five years and he will also be the first Uruguayan to manage a team in the Premier League.
He first came to England as a player in 1997, joining Chelsea from Real Zaragoza and winning the FA Cup, the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup, before spending three years at Tottenham Hotspur.
A goalscoring midfielder, he also played for Uruguay 26 times and was a member of the team that triumphed at the 1995 Copa America.
His managerial experience is limited to his time at Brighton but during that spell he led the south coast club to promotion from third-tier League One in 2011 before guiding them to the Championship play-offs last season.
He has also worked as a coach at Swindon Town, Leeds United and Spurs.
Poyet will be joined at the Stadium of Light by his former Brighton colleagues Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway, and will work in conjunction with Sunderland director of football Roberto De Fanti.
Poyet’s first game in charge of the Black Cats will be a tough away match against Swansea.