After a difficult week in which Sunderland suffered a home defeat by QPR and an FA Cup knock-out at the hands of League One Bradford City, Gus Poyet has penned an open letter to supporters taking full responsibility for both the results and the poor performances.
In the letter, published on safc.com, Poyet attempts to repair his recently fractured relationship with many Sunderland fans and emphasizes how much the job means to him;
For the first time in my life I think is time for me to write this letter to you, the fans.
When I had the opportunity to become the head coach of Sunderland AFC, I just closed my eyes and remember me sitting at the away dressing room at the Stadium of Light at half time, 4-0 down, Sunderland 4 Chelsea 0, incredible atmosphere, one of the best I ever felt, so the decision was easy, yes I would love the possibility of coaching Sunderland with those fans. Luckily I got the job.
I was brought into the club to stay in the Premier League first and most, then get stability and then progress with an identity in our game.
The first goal was the most difficult task of my life but we not only stayed up in a miraculous way, we went to Wembley for the first time in years, plus successful games against our biggest rivals and enjoyed some incredible victories away from home. What we achieved last year was achieved by all of us together: club (chairman, directors, staff and players) and fans, nobody and I mean nobody from outside helped us a bit, it was only us together.
Then my second aim was to achieve stability, progression and then slowly start bringing a special way of playing football to make you very proud of our team. This takes time, but even if the aim is clear during the process, we need to keep competing and winning games somehow.
During my career as a player, coach or manager, I have always had a fantastic relationship with the fans, from my time in Uruguay going through every team in Europe, always the relationship was strong, one of mutual respect and understanding, I showed from inside or from outside the pitch, my commitment, passion and dedication in achieving what every club deserved.
Of course I went through good and bad times, successful and not so good ones, winning or losing finals, but I left every single club having a recognition from the fans for my honesty, passion and professional work.
So let's make sure that we don't let anyone to break our relationship, I promise you that I care and want to win as much as you do and no one thinks more time every day about the team than I do, so I invite all of you to stay positive, to be strong, closer to each other and keep believing in what we started together last year, working harder to make it better this season.
To finish I would like to clarify once more: the main responsible of the results of our team is me, I always said it and I will always accept my responsibility.
I am really looking forward to see the Stadium of Light packed on Saturday, pushing the team to what could be a very important victory.
Thank you and regards to all
The Uruguayan had blamed the media for trying to turn Sunderland fans against him after the chants of "Gustavo Poyet, it's always our fault" during the 2-0 defeat at Bradford, suggesting that we'd all be on his side if the press had reported exactly what he had said instead of twisting his words. So this open letter to supporters is an attempt to set the record straight, without fear of his words being misinterpreted or quoted out of context.
It should also allay fears that Poyet had been looking for a way out, after his recent outbursts had sparked speculation that he had maybe had enough, as he is clearly committed to the cause. Whether that means a change around in fortune (and possibly tactics) on the pitch remains to be seen but there is no doubting now that he intends to remain at the club and fight for his future.
With a huge game against West Bromwich Albion up next on Saturday at the Stadium of Light, it can be argued that the letter wasn't needed and a good performance and three points against the Baggies would have achieved the same result but transparency between the club (in this case the Head Coach) and the fans should only be viewed as a good thing and will hopefully be the start of an upturn in not only results but the status of the relationship between Poyet and the Sunderland faithful.
What do you make of his open letter? Has it put your mind at ease, too little, too late, or are you reserving judgement for displays on the pitch? Let us know in the comments.