Consistency vital for Poyet

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Boss speaks ahead of Craven Cottage clash.

Gus Poyet is looking to see his side continue their good run of recent form when they head to Fulham tomorrow.

Sunderland have lost just once in their last eight games in all competitions and are unbeaten in four games on the road.

I think we’ve been more consistent, really consistent away from home and I expect to see the same

- Gus Poyet

Their only defeat came against Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, but apart from that result Poyet feels recent progress has been encouraging.

The Black Cats have taken four points from their three league games since Christmas as well as progressing in both the FA Cup with Budweiser and Capital One Cup.

“To be honest we were on a good run and then had a bad day against Aston Villa,” he told safc.com.

“In the second half, true, they had a few chances, but we were chasing the game and took a few risks.

“The reality is we were doing well. I think we’ve been more consistent, really consistent away from home and I expect to see the same.”

Having been defeated by Villa on New Year's Day, Sunderland responded with a pair of wins in the domestic cups, including a 2-1 victory over Manchester United on Wearside.

Meanwhile Poyet is delighted to have the likes of Adam Johnson back on song, with the winger having enjoyed a good week.

Johnson was recalled to the side against Carlisle and scored a free-kick before playing a major role in his team’s second goal.

And he won a penalty just minutes after coming off the bench against Manchester United as part of an archetypal impact sub’s performance.

Johnson will be hoping to have done enough to start at Craven Cottage this weekend and Poyet has certainly been impressed.

“When players are at the top they take responsibility, and one we can highlight is Johnno,” he said.

“He scored a great goal from a free-kick against Carlisle and then won a penalty [in the Manchester United game].

“It showed how important it is to have these players as they are the ones who make the difference. They are very important.”

“When you go away to Fulham anything can happen so we need to be prepared. They have plenty of quality.

- Poyet on Saturday's opponents

Saturday’s opponents bounced back from a 6-0 defeat at Hull with a 2-1 home win over West Ham in their last league outing, before drawing 1-1 at Norwich in the FA Cup with Budweiser last weekend.

And Poyet is more than aware of the quality in Rene Meulensteen’s squad having worked with the likes of “spectacular” striker Dimitar Berbatov during his time as first-team coach at Spurs.

“When you go away to Fulham anything can happen so we need to be prepared," he said. "They have plenty of quality.

“I know the likes of [Adel] Taarabt and Berbatov well from my time at Spurs, and they can turn the game at any minute.

“Berbatov is a spectacular player - unique. You don’t find those kinds of players very easily.

“On any good day he can win the game on his own. I’m looking forward to seeing him because he’s a decent lad, but I hope he doesn’t have a very good day!”