What The Gaffer Said
I’m happy for the players and happy for the fans because this week I’ve been in Sunderland going for dinner, finding a place to live and I’ve seen how much this game means [to the fans].
I spoke to some people who were saying to me win this one, next week doesn’t matter.
The way that we did it, the work that the players have put in, we gave everything and that’s what we asked from them.
When you have a player on the bench with a willingness to go in and do something special you’ve always got a chance.
We’ve been working on different things, I’ve been asking a few players to take responsibility and I was so pleased for every one of them.
They did the right things at the right time, it’s up to them to find the time, the space and make the right decisions in the game and they did it quite early which was incredible for us.
It was a great start, the stadium was coming down and everything was going perfect until that goal which of course made everybody feel a little bit weak.
We reacted, we changed things and the players that went on gave us something different because they are different.
We know what Lee Cattermole is and why he is so important for us and then you have a different player in Ki and it’s the same with Johnno [Adam Johnson] and Fabio Borini.
It worked today and I said before this should be the turning point in our season so let’s enjoy this time, prepare this week and try to win another game next weekend.
That was the test, the key moment, it was where we were looking at as soon as we scored plenty of people were very nervous – I was checking, I was seeing reactions, I was seeing if what we were working on and the way that we want to change things and if the players have got it.
We went into another gear, we asked the players for extra effort and they are there.
There was effort, tension, nerves and a lit bit of enjoyment as well. We couldn’t run in the last few minutes and today we were absolutely delighted so I’m very happy for the players.
I’ve seen him in training and saw he controlled the ball well and the first touch is key because the second I know the quality of Fabio.
I’m very happy for him because he was very close to playing today and sometimes the players get what they deserve and I thought it was important for him and of course for all of us for the future.
It's nice that Poyet's reaction was all about the team and the players. Under Paolo Di Canio, you kind of get the feeling that he would have made it all about him.
Before We Go Any Further...
Let's just get this out of the way...
I feel better for that..
Finally Some Mental Strength
I probably wasn't alone in fearing the worst from the moment Newcastle equalised. All season long we have caved in under pressure and just totally collapsed in what felt like a blink of the eye. This was the easiest time to do that, but the players actually reacted instead.
Heads didn't drop, underpants didn't become soiled. They simply took it on the chin, refocused, and reasserted themselves. It was probably needed really because prior to that we had dropped far too deep and surrendered far too much of the initiative.
Tactically and philosophically, there is not much Poyet has had the opportunity to do yet, but that was one crucial change that, hopefully, he has been able to effect.
Colback Proves A Point
Jack Colback has had an odd kind of a career to date. He has been shifted around positionally so much that his head is probably spinning, with each manager seemingly seeing him as something different. Had Di Canio still been here, you'd sense that his midfield career at the club was over.
I am not too sure many would have been too upset about that actually. He has impressed occasionally there, yet never nailed down a starting berth. Whilst he is usually neat and tidy, questions have been raised over his creativity and presence.
In this one though he was the best player on the pitch. He dominated the much-heralded Yohan Cabaye for a start, and met the more physical challenge of Tiote too.
His future is still in question, but I'd certainly like to see a lot more from him in midfield if this is the standard he intends to set for himself.
This Must Not Be Wasted
I think we all intend to enjoy the moment and revel in a big win for a few days, but hopefully the players have loftier goals at the forefront of their minds.
This derby victory is unlikely to equal last season's 3-0 in folklore when the dust is settled, but it should be remembered that it was the 'one-two punch' of the win and St James and the follow-up three points against Everton that made the difference last term. The derby win alone wasn't enough.
If Sunderland can replicate that again, this time with a good showing and result at Hull next week, the season will take on a very different complexion. Please please PLEASE don't sully this by wasting it.