Former Sunderland manager Peter Reid has issued a response to Gus Poyet’s recent comments regarding the long-ball tactics used by the Black Cats in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Uruguayan manager hit out at Mackems supporters for criticising the club’s current style of play, as reported by The Guardian, and called for the fans to move on and realise the team no longer had the little and large duo of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn to rely on in the final third.
Sunderland finished 7th in the Premier League for two consecutive seasons under Reid, with Phillips claiming the European Golden Boot for the 1999-2000 campaign after netting 30 goals in the top-flight.
Speaking to News.Ladbrokes at the bookmaker’s #ForTheFans transfer deadline day event, the former Black Cats boss defended his tactics and called for Poyet to reconsider his stance given the wealth of attacking options at his disposal.
"I can understand where Gus is coming from as possession is obviously very important but putting pressure on people at the back, whether that’s going long or getting crosses into the box, is a nice option to have," he told the news provider.
"There’s no right way or wrong way to play football, the best thing is to mix it up. You can keep the ball and be patient but sometimes you’ve got to ask a question by putting the ball in the box."
Reid pointed to the presence of both Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher in the Black Cats’ ranks which, when allied with the goalscoring threat of new signing Jermain Defoe, gave Sunderland what he views as the perfect platform to "mix it up" in the way he previously described.
Poyet’s team are next in Premier League action away at Swansea this Saturday, with the hosts looking to build on their surprise 1-0 win away at Southampton last weekend while Sunderland are aiming to continue their recent upturn in form, which included a 2-0 victory over Burnley.
These two teams played out a 0-0 draw earlier in the season but, with new signing Defoe off the mark already, Sunderland will be hoping to spring a surprise on the Swans.