Poyet sets out task

by Stuart Vose

Head coach wants side to combine good spells.

Gus Poyet is looking for his side to combine their good spells in recent outings across a full 90 minutes to start controlling games.

Sunderland’s head coach has seen some encouraging signs so far, including the first-half defensive performance in his first game, at Swansea, as well as the derby win over Newcastle.

Meanwhile he was pleased with his side’s response in the second half after being reduced to nine men at Hull last weekend.

I didn’t like too much the way we played in the first half at Hull but was delighted with the second

- Gus Poyet

And, speaking ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup game against Southampton, he wants to see his side piece together a more complete performance.

“The idea is to make sure we keep improving,” said Poyet, who will take charge of his first cup tie as Sunderland head coach.

“I didn’t like too much the way we played in the first half at Hull but was delighted with the second.

“[We are looking] to go out and put an offensive and defensive display together for long periods to try and control the game.

“The more games you play, the better it should be.”

Southampton have beaten Barnsley and Bristol City in the Capital One Cup so far and the winners of tonight’s tie will face a home date with Chelsea.

But it’s the Saints’ progress in the Barclays Premier League which has really caught the eye, with the south coast club sitting sixth in the division with 19 points from their first 10 games.

“Mauricio Pochettino did something very interesting; he had the possibility to finish the league last year, checking the way to play and trying things,” Poyet added.

“They have added a few players to that system, which is working fantastically so far. They are a difficult team to play against and very, very strong. The game will be a big challenge.

“It is always important for me to try to be strong at home, win games and have a winning mentality.”

- Check out the latest ticketing information ahead of tonight's game.