'The decision is mine' - Sunderland boss considering goalkeeper switch

Gus Poyet Press Conference Still

Gus Poyet is weighing up Sunderland’s goalkeeping situation prior to the visit to Crystal Palace.

The Black Cats have conceded 10 goals in their last two games, and they head to Selhurst Park looking to move out of the relegation places with a first win in three.

Despite conceding eight times to Southampton two games ago, head coach Gus Poyet kept faith in first-choice stopper Vito Mannone, although his decision failed to show a reward, with the North Eastern side falling down 2-0 at home to Arsenal - despite the Gunners putting in a faltering performance.

However, with the club preparing to face Crystal Palace on Monday evening, Poyet confirmed that he was thinking about replacing the goalkeeping position for the trip to Selhurst Park - with a win able to take Sunderland out of the relegation places.

When pressed by the Chronicle, Poyet confirmed that the decision to pick a goalkeeper is one of the largest a manager can make.

He said: “Yeah, probably – because it’s the goalkeeper. If it was right wing, nobody would give it such importance.

“Vito’s been all right, we’ve watched the clips with him. We’ve talked about it, he’s been training all right.

“The decision is a matter of whether you give another opportunity or if that was enough. Do you feel he’s all right to play or do you think it’s better not to for the team? Do you want to change it, or back him up?”

If Mannone is dropped from the first-team, Sunderland can call upon former Manchester City ‘keeper Costel Pantilimon, who left the Etihad over the summer to move to the Stadium of Light on a free transfer in a search for consistent first-team football. However, opportunities have been limited, and the 27-year-old has failed to register any minutes of Premier League action this season. Poyet is aware that selecting Pantilimon now could have an adverse effect, with him remaining benched despite Mannone conceding eight goals in one game - although the coach is grateful to be making the decision of who to select.

“If you play Costel, I didn’t back him up,” he added.

“The decision is mine, which is what I like.”

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