For all the criticism of Moyes, Poyet deserves every plaudit

A lot of focus seems to be on Manchester United's demise, whilst the relatively new Sunderland boss has just gone about a difficult job very well.

Whilst all the headlines today has all been about Manchester United’s struggles with David Moyes continuing to face difficulties during his first season in charge at Old Trafford, it seems to detract from the praise that should be headed in the direction of Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.

It's understandable United's apparent demise is given so much coverage but it is only fair that the Sunderland boss gets just as many reports and praise as United have received damning criticism.

Poyet was the man who infamously found out on the BBC whilst being a pundit for their Confederations Cup coverage that he had been sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion – something which the club denied.

Then Sunderland sacked their manager Paulo Di Canio having only picked up one point to start the season and they were seemingly cut adrift from 18 other teams as their chances of Premier League survival were written off along with Crystal Palace - who have also shown signs of recovery.

An incredible job to take on with more than an entire starting line-up coming through the door at the Stadium of Light at the start of the season, the players were still strangers, a new manager was in the dugout and it all seemed to be a bit of an uphill struggle.

But they have shown signs of green shoots under the Uruguayan. Beating Newcastle United and Manchester City at home seem to be difficult for any side this season, never mind one that is firmly in the relegation fight. They have taken to his style of player, not afraid to push high up the field and take the game to sides whilst being patient on the ball and trying not to be wasteful in possession.

It's not all been sweetness and light of course, the defeat to Hull City where two players were sent off in a defeat being a notable low, but they have picked up 17 points since he arrived at the club and are now only a point from safety, and given that they have managed to start winning on the road – against top four hopefuls Everton, and fellow relegation candidates Fulham – it would be hard to bet against them maintaining form.

He has got his side settled - and now he’s taking his side to Wembley. Poyet deserves every plaudit he gets for turning Sunderland around as much as he has so far.

image: © Daniel Coomber

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