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New Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has urged his team to kick start their season by beating bitter local rivals Newcastle United in next week’s Wear-Tyne derby.
In Poyet’s first game as manager, the Black Cats slumped to their seventh defeat of the season at Swansea on Saturday, conceding four second-half goals without reply. They currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League, having picked up just one point from their opening eight games.
Poyet admitted that things are starting to get serious and believes that beating Newcastle in next Sunday’s derby would give his side a significant boost for the rest of the campaign.
He said: “What a game we have next week. It is becoming serious, it is a derby, we are at home, we are not winning games and now is the time to start.”
Poyet stressed he has already learned a great deal about his new charges after the Swansea game. The Black Cats were competitive throughout the first-half but four goals in a 23-minute collapse – including two own goals and a penalty – proved to be their downfall.
The Uruguayan continued: “We have no other option than to work and turn that (first-half) performance into 90 minutes as soon as possible, as time and games will pass by with us still at the bottom.
“Any team can concede a goal, if you cannot play anymore because you concede a goal, you deserve to be at the bottom.”