JUBILANT Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has urged his team to use their late victory in yesterday’s north-east derby as a catalyst to save their season.
On-loan forward Fabio Borini’s rasping 84th-minute drive earned the Black Cats a first win of the season and lifted them off the bottom of the Premier League. Victory over bitter rivals Newcastle also secured Poyet hero status just two games into his reign, although he insists it is just the beginning of his task.
“When you are bottom, it’s not nice. We are off the bottom – that’s something. We beat the biggest rivals – that’s even bigger,” he said.
“Now we need to keep going. We need to start passing the ball better, we need to keep believing and we need to do different things. From now on, there are no excuses because we needed a lift and there is no better lift than this one.”
Sunderland looked desperate to add to their solitary point from eight fixtures as soon as the match started, and took just five minutes to take the lead, when Scotland striker Steven Fletcher headed home Adam Johnson’s delicate centre across the goalmouth.
Johnson was at fault for Newcastle’s equaliser 12 minutes into the second half, however, the England winger allowing full-back Mathieu Debuchy to ghost behind him and convert Hatem Ben Arfa’s low cross-shot.
Borini, loaned from Liverpool and on as a replacement for Johnson, chose a spectacular occasion for his first Sunderland goal when he drove at the visitors’ defence and arrowed a diagonal 20-yard effort past Tim Krul.
It sealed Poyet’s third win from as many matches as a manager against Newcastle. He added: “I’m sure they are going to hate me even more.”