Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is urging his players to give striker Steven Fletcher the ammunition to fire the club out of relegation trouble
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Manager Gus Poyet revealed he deployed a calculated formula to aid struggling Sunderland's search for goals on their travels and it almost paid off at Aston Villa.
– Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.
I want to tell you a secret about this game.
I played every single player who has scored for us this season in the Premier League, every single one.
If you think about who has scored for Sunderland in previous games - Fletcher, Borini, Giaccherini, Gardner, Bardsley - the rest, nobody has scored. Every single one who has scored at least one goal was on the pitch.
So we are looking for goals, I can promise you that.
The formation maybe surprised a few but there was a reason behind it, there's always a reason, right or wrong, and it nearly worked.
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Dossena, Brown, O'Shea (c), Ki, Gardner, Larsson, Borini, Giaccherini, Fletcher.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has backed Lee Cattermole to keep a lid on his temper and play a crucial role in leading his club out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Cattermole is in line to return to the Black Cats line-up at Aston Villa on Saturday after completing a three-game suspension following his red card at Hull.
– Sunderland manager Lee Catermole
I need to make sure Lee knows he is important to the team, and Lee needs to make sure he keeps his cool a little bit better.
He's an important player - he's a leader, he's strong and he doesn't accept defeat - and sometimes you need those kinds of characters.
Wes Brown's red card rescinded by FA. Will not serve 3-game ban. Sensible decision. The only decision really. #safc
Sunderland captain John O'Shea feels "common sense" will have been shown if Wes Brown's red card against Stoke is overturned by the Football Association.
Black Cats defender Brown was controversially dismissed in the 36th minute of his team's 2-0 Premier League defeat at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday after making a sliding challenge on Charlie Adam.
– Sunderland captain John O'Shea
It's so frustrating.
We were a goal down at that stage but I thought we were in clear control of the game and it gave Stoke a massive, massive lift.
The ref's not had the best of days, has he?
Hopefully the red card will get overturned.
He took his time over it but he still managed to get it wrong because Wes has clearly won the ball. I don't think he even touched Adam.