NEW Sunderland manager Gus Poyet feels his players need to start believing they are good enough to climb off the foot of the Premier League table and successfully stave off relegation.
The 45-year-old has penned a two-year contract and succeeds Paolo Di Canio, who left under a cloud last month after falling out with several key first team players.
But Poyet believes Sunderland, who have taken just one point from seven games this season, can survive the drop with everyone pulling in the same direction.
“I do believe we can get safe. I need to convince the players, I need to convince everybody to really believe in this,” said the former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder.
“I need to make sure everybody commits to the cause. You can see that they want to show everything the first day. Everybody wanted to train, even the ones that I wasn’t expecting to. I just asked them to pay attention. The next two or three weeks, there’s going to be plenty of information both ways.
“I need them to be really aware and to try to understand, to ask questions and to be involved. That will make it quicker. The longer it takes, the more difficult it is going to be. Most of the work now will be mental. It’s about getting the right information.”
Poyet, who was sacked this summer after four years at Brighton, becomes Sunderland’s sixth permanent manager in the last five seasons.
And the Uruguayan hopes he can finally bring some stability to the Wearside club.
“I’ve had one job as a manager so far and I was there for four years, so that speaks for itself,” added Poyet, who is set to take charge of his first match at Swansea on 19 October.
“Whenever a new manager arrives he wants to stay as long as possible. I am confident but I don’t want to say now we are going to do this and do that, I want to prove it and I hope I will be sitting here smiling at the end of the season.”
Poyet has added former Brighton colleagues Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway to his backroom staff at the Stadium of Light.