Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gus Says Cats Must Learn to Play Ugly; Poyet Was Happy at His Cats' Reaction

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gus Says Cats Must Learn to Play Ugly; Poyet Was Happy at His Cats' Reaction

Article excerpt

GUS POYET has praised the "good reaction" of his Sunderland players to a testing two weeks, but admits they "don't enjoy the ugly side of football".

The Black Cats recovered from damaging, error-strewn defeats at Southampton and, at home, to Arsenal by winning 3-1 at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Though they continue to await news on the severity of Patrick Van Aanholt's dislocated shoulder injury and a timescale for its recovery, victory lifted the club to 15th in the Premier League table.

And while attributing his team's ongoing tendency to score own goals to "everybody defending and trying to fight for each other", Poyet expressed his satisfaction at their response to recent defeats.

Wes Brown's misfortune at Selhurst Park was the fourth time Sunderland have scored on behalf of opponents this season, and the eighth own goal of the defender's career.

Last term, Poyet's men put six into their own net.

And asked to account for such an unusually high number of own goals, the Uruguayan said: "We had everybody defending and trying to fight for each other.

"We were doing the part that we don't enjoy. I don't think too many people enjoy doing the ugly side of football, but you need to do it to get three points.

"Wes doesn't know how it happened, I think that moment was a key moment.

"After the difficulties of the last two weeks, it would have been very easy for the team to go weak, it was a good reaction."

Poyet added: "I was talking to the people from Sky (Television), I was asking Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher if there was any Turn to Page 46 training session they could put on to stop these own goals. They said 'No'. It just happens.

"The willingness of Wes to go back and cover that position when he saw a player free is what cost him. He was running so quickly that he couldn't stop.

"It would be very easy to stay away from it and let the player score. There is not a worse feeling for Wes in coming on to the pitch as a substitute and scoring an own goal.

"I'm pleased that we won so he's not going to be feeling that bad. …

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