Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has defended Manchester United's recent performances, saying they 'are not as bad as people think'.
Louis Van Gaal's side came under criticism after last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Swansea. But speaking ahead of Sunderland's trip to Old Trafford on Saturday, Poyet backed Man United to recover from their recent dip in form.
I think people are being a little bit harsh on Man United at the moment.
They are not as bad as people think because they are in a good position and if they get into the top four there's a few that are going to have to recognise that they've done better than what people expected.
Sunderland won 1-0 at Old Trafford at the end of last season as the Black Cats avoided relegation from the Premier League. But Poyet expects a different encounter this time around. He added:
They were with Ryan Giggs as a caretaker at that moment in time. We were playing for our lives. They were just trying to change a little bit at the end of the season to have something to cheer about. It was a different game.
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Gus Poyet's comments after Sunderland's shock FA Cup defeat to Bradford City were 'born out of frustration', according to Sunderland Echo reporter Chris Young.
The Uruguayan told media after the Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Valley Parade:
The problem is you, not me. If you write what I say the fans would be on my side but because you write what you want we've got problems.
If we close Sunderland and we put a China wall around the city it would be fantastic. Now when we let you get in and you go out and say what you want then we've got a problem beating ourselves.
So I would invite every Sunderland fan and people who cares about the club not to listen to any one of you. Only to me and between ourselves.
Young says Poyet could be frustrated after his side's recent results.
Sunderland are out of the FA Cup after losing 2-0 away to Bradford City.
Gus Poyet said he knew his team tried their best before congratulating the Bantams on their victory, which secures them a place in the quarter finals.
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Gus Poyet believes striker Jermain Defoe has already made a big difference at Sunderland.
The 32-year-old scored in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Swansea - his second goal for the club in just three appearances.
Premier League Swansea 1-1 Sunderland
Championship Middlesbrough 3-1 Charlton
League Two Portsmouth 1-0 Hartlepool United York City 0-2 Dag & Red
Premier League Swansea 0-1 Sunderland
Championship Middlesbrough 1-1 Charlton
League Two Portsmouth 0-0 Hartlepool United York 0-1 Dag & Red