Gus Poyet: Sunderland manager says team needs more balance

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says there is a lack of balance in the squad he inherited at the Stadium of Light.

Poyet replaced Paolo Di Canio as boss earlier this month with the Black Cats bottom of the Premier League and lost 4-0 in his first game in charge.

We need a team, a proper team that is balanced. You cannot just pick the best individuals - there is a lot more needed than just football ability

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet

"Individually, I have no doubt at all - the players at this football club are good enough," he told BBC Newcastle.

"But there just has not been balance to the team. It might mean I drop players who are the best or the favourites."

In June, Sunderland appointed Italian duo Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni as director of football and chief scout.

Working with Di Canio, they led a summer recruitment drive that saw 14 new players join the club for a total cost of £19m.

However, Poyet insisted that reputations will count for nothing as he tries to find the right approach to bring about an upturn in form.

"This is not tennis. We are not talking 'one v one', there are 11 on the pitch and something needs to change dramatically," the 45-year-old Uruguayan added.

"Some people believe you should select all the best individuals but no, I think that is wrong. You should pick players that can fit in to how you want to model.

Sunderland's full-back shortage

Sunderland are yet to select an XI this season that has included recognised right and left full-backs. The only time four defenders have started a match this campaign was when right-back Phil Bardsley was used on the left against Swansea - he scored an own-goal and Sunderland lost 4-0.

On Sunday, the Black Cats play host to Newcastle in the 149th Wear-Tyne derby.

And former Chelsea midfielder Poyet is determined to avoid a repeat of last Saturday's collapse at Swansea when they conceded four goals in the final 33 minutes.

In total, 15 of the 20 goals scored against Sunderland this season have come after the half-time interval.

"There is just not enough intensity in the second half and you can see this by the stats," he added.

"I think more than anything this is a mental thing, not attitude or fitness. So maybe we change things. If some good players don't play, then fine.

"We need a team, a proper team. There is a lot more needed than just football ability when you are bottom of the league."