Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has questioned the character of some of his players after descirbing the 8-0 humbling at Southampton on Saturday as the most embarrassing moment of his career, as the Black Cats slumped to one of the heaviest defeats in English Premier League history as the Saints ran riot at St Mary’s.
The visitors contributed to their downfall by scoring two own goals, while some slack defending was punished by a ruthless Southampton side to condemn Sunderland to a humiliating defeat.
“It’s probably the most embarrassing time I’ve had on a football pitch. You think that maybe you will never get these situations, but unfortunately sometimes it’s your turn. It’s unacceptable really,” said Poyet.
“I am really sorry for the fans; they have been excellent. They travelled all that way and had to look at a very difficult game today.”
Poyet admitted things conspired against his side in the first half with a comedy own goal from Santiago Vergini and he felt the turning point was when his side were not awarded a penalty when the scoreline was 2-0 when Steven Fletcher was upended by the hosts’ goalkeeper Fraser Forster inside the box.
“We started the game very well,” added Poyet.
“We were quite in control then we conceded the own goal which is unique. It is not a usual own goal and then 2-0 and you can say it is a little bit unlucky in clearance of the ball.”
“I know it is 8-0 and I am not going to put this as an excuse but the turning point of the game is probably the penalty which would change the game, the goalkeeper would be sent off, get a penalty and score and you would be talking about a different score now.”
“We pay the price for everything today because it wasn’t a good day.”
Asked why he felt his side did not get the penalty, he thought referee Andre Marriner was not strong enough to give the spot-kick which would have also meant Forster was sent off for the offence.
“He doesn’t know,” said Poyet.
“Probably he doesn’t want to send the keeper off you sometimes get those decisions you need to be strong especially on the home team and he was not strong enough.”
Poyet also accused some of his players of giving up in the second half as their opposition score five goals, and he believes the result has helped him learn a lot about his side.
“The only thing we knew was we needed not to throw game away. 3-0 was enough you need to be organised but I learn a lot about the players today – the bad side, the characters who stopped when they gave up and there were a few who gave up and I know who they are so it is very important for me for future.”
“I cannot watch it again because there is not a lot to analyse because every single situation in defence, we were a difficult side to play against before today, is totally the opposite where we are all over the place, where people are not doing the right things with the basics of the game, they are not there as a group we didn’t show character to stay on pitch so there plenty of things that are very, very negative today.”
“Everything went against us in the first half but in the second half we were really, really poor – an unacceptable display in the second half.”
“I know who to choose, I know who can play, and I know the players I can count on in difficult situations.”