Larsson & The Lads CelebrateMalcolm Dawson writes…the manager has every right to be pleased with the form of his team just now. A couple of minutes away from a win at Manchester City and today victory against the red half of that city. Sandwiched in between three points at Stamford Bridge and a rare home victory against the ultimately doomed Cardiff City has put his side in a position where Premiership survival is all (but not yet mathematically) assured. Gus knows this and vows that his boys will keep working until the season’s end as he explains in his post match e-mail to M Salut.

Jake captures the Bard, with thanks to Owen Lennox

Jake captures the Bard, with thanks to Owen Lennox


Dear Colin,

It was a very strange game; in the beginning it was very flat and had a slow pace, which gave us the chance to pass the ball and get forward.

Seb [Larsson] has been looking for that goal for a few weeks, he can finish very well, he’s got a special right foot and what a way to get back on the scoresheet, with the winning goal at Old Trafford.

We defended magnificently after taking the lead. Every player put their body on the line and we had more chances after that and passed the ball around very well.

The subs were outstanding, we’ve started with the same XI for the last few games but I must say the subs have done brilliantly in those games when they’ve come on. They’ve brought something special to help the team each time.

We knew that we were capable of getting a result, and to go and get a first league win at Old Trafford in over 40 years is even better.

We’ve got the points when we’ve needed them most and if results go our way tomorrow we’re likely to remain in the Barclays Premier League; this is an incredible achievement when you consider our position a couple of weeks ago.

We now know that one more win, in front of our fans at a packed out Stadium of Light will be enough for us and then we can celebrate together.

I’m immensely proud of the team; now I just want us to finish the job and get over the line. That would be a very special moment for me, the players, the fans and the club, then we can sit down and relax, but until then we won’t stop.

All the best,

Gus Poyet

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Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson's first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters' Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

16 Responses to “Pure Poyetry: breaking the Old Trafford hoodoo, but celebrations on hold” Subscribe

  1. Neil May 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    When discussing the Manager of the Season the media seem determined to continue their love-in with Liverpool. Some say Pulis for the Houdini act even though he has only managed Palace for a relatively small number of games. Others offer Arsene for winning the FACup and establishing the record for the longest unbroken run of Champ Lge qualification. For me…and I’m hopelessly biased…it’s Gus. Why? Well, I was convinced that the Universe wanted to punish us for appointing PDC. Arguably the worst appointment ever…anywhere. When I looked at the fixtures only a few weeks ago I was utterly convinced we were down. I regard myself as being smarter than the average bear. I did the Maths. We were, to paraphrase Dad’s Army, doomed. And yet….so (more paraphrasing) to hear the crowd singing Hosannah I’m riding into town on an ass. I knw f*** all about football. This despite going to matches since 1968. I know nothing. And you know what….I’m ok with it. A price well worth paying for avoiding the drop….which I’d so confidently predicted

    • Drummer May 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Robbie Savage on 606 agrees with you , don’t know whether you wanted to hear that or not !

      • Neil May 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

        Having the leonine one agreeing only adds to the self-reproach. I know Nowt and yet still know more than him

        • Rob May 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

          For me. Living in the Midlands, and generally only taking my son to see Aston villa – Sunderland. I was really looking forward to going to Leicester – Sunderland (Leicester being one of my music venues).

          Just as you state, 3 weeks ago I was thinking “NO WAY”. But, Gus has persuaded our no good bunch that miracles can happen in football. If Norwich lose tomorrow, then I am fairly sure we will stay up. I thought we only needed 3 points from the last 3 games, and I am amazed we got them at old Trafford.

  2. Drummer May 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Hands up , I thought we were down pre City and I was ambivalent to whether Poyet stayed or not .He’d chopped and changed looking for a system that worked and in the last chance saloon , found it. Perservering with Altidore for far to long probably cost us a good few points but I wonder if pressure from above to include him was at work here. Not daring to admit to signing yet another huge money flop. Whatever, overall since arriving Poyet is within a whisker of pulling off a miracle. All credit to him and the team , this has been the most schitsophrenic of seasons but we’ll never forget it, boring we ain’t ! Apologies to Gus for doubting him , but after the legion of managerial flops that have graced our dugout , you can’t blame us for being a little gun shy, we’ve being hurt too often !

  3. Geoff Bethell May 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    I’ll probably get howls of derision for this but each of our last 4 managers has kept us up. The key this time is to hang on to this one – the best of them – and to do the work in the close season that hasn’t gone away just because we’ve won a few games.

    • Drummer May 4, 2014 at 6:09 am #

      That’s it though , they kept us up and next season , nothing .We arn’t even safe mathematically yet for this season and we have yet another huge restructuring job to to. Expensive signings like Graham and Altidore who we were hoping would do a job in the championship will have to go at another huge financial hit. Whatever happens to Fletcher is anyones guess .We need to replace Borini probably , unless we get him for another year and hope Socco comes good. That’s just the strikers, hence I label our previous managers flops.

  4. Rob May 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    For me. Steve Bruce, in the past few managers. Found decent players, and created a reasonable team. He had luck, at first as he realised Darren Bent was wasted at Spurs.

    Darren Bent’s best playing time was at Sunderland. He has been shy it since. Join those words.

    Bringing Danny Wellbeck to us when he did was a decent forward move. I think Steve Bruce would make an excellent Scout. I agree he had to go when he went, but, I am just stating his strength is finding decent players (not getting the best out of them).

  5. Keith Hutton Africa May 4, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    We need to hold on to the best of what we have. Larsson was great yesterday, Alonso is needed at left back because if Bardsley, Vergini, Gardner and Colback leave we won’t have anyone to play fullback. Cattermole was outstanding yesterday a very important player. Borini won’t stay at Liverpool they don’t need him but we do can he be convinced. The managerial episode of keeping Sunderland up was immense taking us to Wembley equally unexpected, but finishing 17th two years in a row doesn’t equal progress. Tonight I am very happy but this World Cup summer is a watershed, we need to build and move forward.

    • William C May 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

      Good points Keith

      I think it is ironic that Larsson scored our goal yesterday. He has been derided by a number of supporters all season. I rate him. Phenomenal work rate and never objects to playing out of his best position [ wide right ]

      I hope that there is not another wholesale change of players. It hasn’t worked in the past, and I doubt it will in the future.

      Assuming we stay up [ and it looks likely now ] I think we need to make four key signings – a pacey young full back, a young, quick centre back, a creative midfielder and another striker.

      I feel if Gus can recruit well in these positions and hang on to the best we have at present, we will have a decent squad to build on.

      We must end this seasonal fight for survival, and start to progress year on year [ as, for instance, Everton have ]

  6. malcolm May 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Now we know – a point on Wednesday or Sunday will see us safe. Also safe if Norwich don’t beat Arsenal. Two wins and we could finish as high as 12th place. Bizarre!

    • Drummer May 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      I know I’m being greedy after our fantastic win and two relegation places already filled, but I wish Chelsea had won today . I would have taken your hand of for this weekends results previously , but I admit it , even though the odds are hugely in our favour , I’m nervous .

      • malcolm May 4, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

        I have been saying all season that I thought we had a better squad than many of the teams around us and we ought to have been good enough to stay up. I have to admit though, I didn’t think that would happen when I left the Stadium after the Everton game and although safety is not 100% certain after Norwich’s draw it’s been a remarkable couple of weeks. We could feasibly finish twelfth – who’d have predicted that on April Fool’s day? But I’ve followed Sunderland for too long to get carried away. I’m just hoping that we’ll see the Lads carry on the revival on Wednesday.

        • Drummer May 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

          Yep, I agree with all of the above . To calm ourselves I’ll put it this way . There’s three games left that can decide our fate, every single one has to go against us for ourselves to go down.We have to lose two home games on the trot and Norwich have to beat Arsenal ( away?), it can’t happen can it ?

          • Mick Goulding May 5, 2014 at 10:04 am #

            Norwich are at home, against a team with a cup final coming up and their league position guaranteed.

            We don’t want to leave it until the last day. We have to do the business on Wednesday night – against a team on a meaningless away game when they’re already thinking about their holidays.

            We are on a 4 game unbeaten run and playing the best football of our season. What could possibly go wrong?

  7. John Mac May 5, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    I thought we might finish this weekend either back in the bottom three (We lose or draw, Fulham win) or just out of it on goal difference. I’d have taken the latter.

    So while I’m disappointed Chelsea didn’t do it for us we did better than expected and improved our position.

    I’m keeping the faith and also my fingers crossed.

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