8 October 2014 10:39
Gus Poyet admits his work at Sunderland is not even half complete as he celebrates 12 months in charge at the Stadium of Light.
The Uruguayan was appointed as the successor to Paolo Di Canio, whose tumultuous short reign was brought to an end after just five Premier League games of the 2013-14 season.
Poyet’s tenure on Wearside has been topsy-turvy, he led to the club to the final of the League Cup last March and managed to pull off an unlikely escape from relegation.
Having secured top-flight status, Poyet is hoping for a less stressful and more consistent term this time around but concedes the club is not yet at the standard he desires.
“I don’t think we are more than halfway there in the job we want to do here,” he told reporters. “I believe there are plenty of things that need to improve, first as a team. That’s the main part. The rest, for the club, we have more time.
“It doesn’t seem like we have been here a year. It actually feels like seven years already.
“We have played a lot of games and had too many ups and downs. I think this second year has to be more consistent. You can play alright but if you lose games it doesn’t matter how you feel. It has been stressful like that.
“I have watched games again from last season and the differences were an own goal, or a decision, or not taking a chance. And the feeling is that you are losing, and you can’t take that away. You can’t scrap that feeling and throw it away. But now I believe everything is improving.
“Have we made progress? Everything is a bit better. The play, everything. I can tell you a hundred little things – how long the players stay together at the dinner table. Small things that add up.
“They are sharing things together, where previously everybody was disappearing to their rooms. They have people next to them they trust. That brings a team together.
“That is why for me the high point was the cup last season. Those celebrations after games, important games, brought us together.”