Poyet has worked wonders at the Stadium of Light since taking the reigns last season, leading the cub to top flight safety before building a competitive squad over the summer.
Injuries have cost the Black Cats in the opening stages of the season, and a lack on consistency in Poyet’s starting XI has led the club to just two wins in 12 matches, but they have become a hard team to beat, with seven draws and three losses making up the rest of their 13 point tally. They sit just three points off the relegation zone, but also only six points off the top four, and on the back of a three-game unbeaten run Poyet can have real hopes of securing their survival over the intense run of fixtures that characterises the festive period.
Seb Larsson has put a lot of Poyet’s good work down to how he has made the squad more stable since his arrival on Wearside, and the 29-year-old midfielder believes that the Uruguayan coach is running the club differently to any of his predecessors.
Speaking to the Chronicle, former Arsenal man Larsson said: “It’s been a rollercoaster at times since I’ve been here – different ways of playing, ups and down.
“But the gaffer is slowly getting across his way of playing.
“Since I joined the club, it hasn’t really been settled that often – for different reasons.
“That’s not blaming different people. We’re all part of it.
“But I think every club aims to get a bit of continuity and that’s what we’re in the process of building.”
With a number of key first-team players returning to full match-fitness, and a promise from Poyet to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window, the Black Cats look well set for top flight survival. Larsson admitted that the club should stay out of the situation they found themselves in last year, believing that if safety was won by April the club could consider it an achievement.
“I’ve got a feeling that we won’t be in the situation we were in last year,” he added.
“I think we’ll do better than that and be more comfortable.
“If we can go into April not worrying about relegation, that would be fantastic.”