Ex-Leeds assistant saddened by Whites' recent demise ahead of FA Cup reunion

Ex-Leeds assistant manager Gus Poyet admits he's saddened by the club's demise as his Sunderland side take on his former club in the FA Cup.

Gus Poyet is best known for being a former Chelsea and Tottenham star in his playing days, whilst his managerial reputation is dominated by his spells in charge of Brighton and now Sunderland.

Yet it's easy to forget that the Uruguayan, 47, had a big role alongside Dennis Wise at both Swindon and Leeds United over six years ago.

Poyet was Wise's assistant at Elland Road, but after being involved in the club's relegation to League One in 2007, Poyet moved back to Tottenham to assist Juande Ramos.

During his year at Leeds, Poyet will have learned a lot about the club, and is set to face them on Sunday as his Sunderland side look to get into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

A sleeping giant of English football, Leeds haven't been in the Premier League for over ten years - but Poyet says they should be in the top flight.

"It's sad because I think they have got everything to be in the Premier League - they should be in the Premier League - but they are paying the price of two or three incredible years at the highest level," said Poyet.

"It was well done, it was achievable, but as soon as they went down, there was so much money spent that to recover from that, you never know if you need three, five, 10 or 15 years and that's why they are still paying that price."

"All the enjoyment of that Champions League moment - now it's the other side, the darker side, and it's not easy. They are on the way back, but it's taking a little bit longer than I would have expected, to be honest," he added.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch