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Poyet needs to mix it up at Sunderland, says Black Cats legend

| 03.02.2015

Sunderland boss Gustavo Poyet’s claims that the Black Cats need to leave the style of play during the Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips era in the past have been rebuffed by the man at the helm during that period – Peter Reid.

Poyet recently urged Sunderland fans to be patient with his side, claiming a possession-based philosophy will stand them well in the long-term, but former manager Reid claims the current side could benefit from occasionally adopting a more direct style.

In a wide-ranging interview with Ladbrokes News, the popular pundit said that with the players at his disposal Poyet might be missing a trick.

“I think if I had Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher up front alongside Jermain Defoe I’d be getting the ball up there and letting Defoe feed off the second ball,” he said.

“I can understand where Gus is coming from as possession is obviously very important but putting pressure on people at the back, whether that’s going long or getting crosses into the box, is a nice option to have.

“There’s no right way or wrong way to play football, the best thing is to mix it up. You can keep the ball and be patient but sometimes you’ve got to ask a question by putting the ball in the box.”

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Reid isn’t taking Poyet’s comments personally but was quick to point out that the tactics he deployed when in the Black Cats dugout served him well against the Paraguayan in the past.

“I know Gus very well and he’s played in some good sides. Although I think he played in a Chelsea team with Marcel Desailly at the back against Quinn and Phillips and we beat them 4-1 at the Stadium of Light – but he must have forgotten about that”

As for Sunderland’s hopes for the season, Reid believes relegation – currently priced at 13/2 – is unlikely to be a concern for his old club.

“It’s too tight to call at the moment but I think the three clubs that came up last year will really struggle to stay up. Leicester, Burnley and QPR are all great clubs but it will be difficult for them,” he added.

Sunderland face Swansea this weekend and are priced at 10/3 to leave the Liberty Stadium with all three points.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Author

James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.