GUS POYET believes Sunderland’s substitutes were key to the Black Cats grabbing a point at Hull City.
Sunderland were woeful for the opening 45 minutes at the KC Stadium last night – persistently squandering possession and failing to mount any threat on the opposition goal.
Poyet’s side were slightly better at the start of the second half, but it was the introduction of Patrick van Aanholt, Connor Wickham and Ricky Alvarez from the bench which made the big difference.
“We started the second half well and the substitutions changed the game,” said Poyet, who watched the change from the stands after being sent off during the opening 45 minutes.
“Being in the stands gave me the opportunity to see things from a different point of view and we made different decisions because of that.
“Ricky, Connor and Patrick all did extremely well when they came on.
“It was a team effort. My staff also worked very hard and I’m pleased as I had to rely on them.
“I’d say it’s a well-earned point.”
It was a typical breathless, ugly, scrappy encounter between two sides still firmly embroiled in the thick of the relegation dogfight.
But considering Sunderland had laid such poor foundations, Poyet was pleased to come away with a draw, which extended the gap with the drop zone to four points.
We started the second half well and the substitutions changed the game.Gus Poyet, Sunderland manager
“It was a good game – crazy, yellow cards, passionate,” he added.
“Two teams playing for their lives.
“We need to take the point because it was difficult. We need to be pleased because the team gave everything they can give.
“We needed to be strong and solid.
“Unfortunately we conceded a cheap goal, it was a strange free kick to say the least, but after that we didn’t give up.
“I’m very pleased with the players, they knew how important the game was and they played accordingly, it’s a point on the board.”
Meanwhile, Lee Cattermole will miss Sunderland’s next two games against Aston Villa and West Ham after receiving a 10th yellow card of the season last night.
Cattermole was booked for petulantly kicking out at ex-Sunderland midfielder David Meyler and will now receive a two-match ban.