Gus Poyet: Sunderland Manage League Ambition


Former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is “delighted” that his old club have been promoted to the Championship – but insists the Black Cats must be realistic about their objectives for the coming season.

Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2016-17 season and suffered the same fate the following year, dropping down from the Championship into League One ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Black Cats spent four seasons in the third tier before eventually winning the playoffs at the third time of asking last term, having previously been knocked out by Charlton Athletic and Lincoln City in the 2018-19 and 2020-21 editions, respectively.

As pleased as Poyet is to see his old side back in the second tier, the Uruguayan hopes they do not get carried away with the prospect of successive promotions – and instead focus on consolidating their Championship status.


Great To See Them Back

Speaking exclusively to Lord Ping, he said: “I'm delighted that Sunderland are back in the Championship, but they need to make sure that they don't go crazy by expecting to reach the Premier League [at the first time of asking].

“[Sunderland manager] Alex Neil has been outstanding and has done so well. 

“[However,] there's a big gap between League One and the Championship and so they need to make sure that they know their objectives.”

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Realistic Approach Needed

Instead of looking at a return to England’s top flight, Poyet feels Sunderland should spend the 2022-23 campaign ensuring they avoid immediate relegation back to League One.

“Sunderland need to be realistic and just focus on staying up, then they can re-evaluate and aim for certain things,” he continued.

“Sunderland can't afford to be unrealistic because there are so many strong teams in the Championship.”


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