Gus Poyet has been talking about Sunderland’s current situation and where we find ourselves currently, struggling to get out of the third tier after four seasons.
The Uruguayan managed the club from 2013-2015 and was hugely popular fans, leading his side to a Premier League survival ‘great escape’ and the 2014 League Cup final.
He spoke to the club about a return after Phil Parkinson was sacked, but turned down the move as he felt it wasn’t the right time to return with the club in League One.
Speaking to BettingExpert.com, the former SAFC boss said:
I thought Sunderland hit rock bottom two years ago after being in League One for two years. You thought, ‘okay, that’s enough’, but the longer you stay in League One, the harder it is to come back because of the budget situation. It’s happened to similar clubs.
You need to be really, really careful because you become a League One club and Sunderland as a city do not deserve that.
The fans, the stadium and training ground deserve better than League One.
And he added that he thought we’d be title contenders - and still hopes we finish top two:
I thought Sunderland would be title contenders or in the top two. They were in that situation at first, but you can’t imagine how difficult League One is.
It never finishes - it’s so long with so many games. They lost their consistency and there were changes in the team and it didn’t work and it led to the club changing the coach. You then expected a reaction but it didn’t happen straight away. I expected them to be in the top two, but at the moment, it’s no good.
Let’s hope they finish in the top two and go up because that city needs football at a higher level. The core of the city is the football club.
Poyet has spoken about his thoughts on the club’s culture in the past - and reminded that he warned senior figures at the club of the problem years ago:
It hurts me to say but when I was there, we were lucky to stay in the Premier League in that miracle season. I was trying to convince everyone at the club, ‘be careful, something is not right’. I meant it because I had the feeling when I was there and I hated to be right about it, but I was.
They thought I was criticising the club, but I wanted the best for the club because the best for the club was also the best for me.