Gus Poyet takes blame for crushing Sunderland defeat
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet admitted he is to blame for his side's 4-0 home defeat by Aston Villa which plunged his side closer to relegation trouble.
The Black Cats were 4-0 down at half-time and Poyet faced an angry reaction from some of the home supporters.
Poyet said: "I am responsible. I am one of the few in football nowadays, I am honest.
"When things go right I tell you I am responsible and when things go wrong I tell you I am responsible."
The result allowed Villa to climb above Sunderland, who are now 17th in the Premier League and only one point above the relegation places.
Poyet added: "I don't pick and choose. I hate people when they pick and choose and they change.
"They have got too many faces. I am not. I am responsible and as the one who is responsible you are the one who has to take it."
Poyet, 47, who has been in charge at the Stadium of Light since October 2013, said he had not spoken to club owner Ellis Short in the immediate aftermath of the defeat and remains intent on staying to try and lead Sunderland to safety.
He said: "I do. That's not even in question."
Fans take aim at Poyet
Poyet's team were booed off at half-time and at the end of the game, while some supporters had to be restrained by security staff as they moved towards the home dugout to remonstrate with the manager after Villa scored their fourth goal.
Other fans left when the score was 3-0.
Andrew, a Sunderland fan who called in to 6-0-6 on BBC Radio 5 live, said: "Gus has lost it. I think he lost it a few games before now. I think he hasn't got a clue. I think he is only still in the job through what he did last season.
"We need something to give us a boost. All the clubs that were in trouble earlier in the season have made their [managerial] changes. I think that's what Sunderland need."
Poyet accepted the fans' criticism: "When you are a fan and you see your team performing like we did in the first half I would do the same.
"This year we haven't been in the bottom three the whole year, but we cannot win enough and we have put ourselves in a difficult situation."
Former Aston Villa midfielder Jermaine Jenas told Match of the Day: "Sunderland fans are well within their rights to be frustrated. They have won two out of 15 at home. There was a distinct lack of effort in the performance."
Poyet rejects 'pub team' criticism
There was confusion at the start of the second half, as midfielder Seb Larsson failed to reappear and Sunderland kicked off with only 10 men on the field.
BBC Final Score pundit Chris Sutton said: "It's like a pub team starting without a player who is having a fag in the car park."
However, Poyet said Larsson, an ever-present in the Premier League this season, was having stitches in a cut and the midfielder re-joined the action after a few minutes before going on to complete the match.
Poyet said: "Seb Larsson is one of the biggest and best professionals we have got at the football club. He had a massive cut in his leg. They were trying to stitch it, they couldn't do it quickly enough.
|Is there trouble ahead? Sunderland's run-in|
|West Ham (a) - 21 March||Everton (a) - 9 May|
|Newcastle (h) - 5 April||Leicester (h) - 16 May|
|Crystal Palace (h) - 11 April||Chelsea (a) - 24 May|
|Stoke (a) - 25 April||Arsenal (a) - Date to be confirmed|
|Southampton (h) - 2 May|
"He didn't want to come off because he felt responsible for the 4-0 in the first half, and we waited for him. We asked the referee to delay a little bit the second half.
"It's very disrespectful about one hell of a professional. Seb Larsson doesn't deserve that."
How bad is it for Sunderland?
Pretty serious. Sunderland have won only once in the Premier League since a 1-0 victory at St James' Park in the Tyne-Wear derby on 21 December.
That's one win in 12 league games and during that run the Black Cats also suffered a dismal FA Cup defeat at League One Bradford City when they went out of the competition with barely a whimper.
Poyet's side has won only twice at home in the league all season and their total of 23 goals is the worst in the division bar Aston Villa.
That run hardly inspires confidence and while their run-in doesn't look to be too demanding, Sunderland won't want a repeat of last season when it took a miraculous sequence of results to stay up.
Poyet's side looked doomed until, inspired by the goals of Connor Wickham, they won four games in a row, including victories at Chelsea and Manchester United. Lightning may not strike twice.
Villa: Crisis, what crisis?
Tim Sherwood has revived Villa since taking over as manager at the start of last month. They look to be on their way out of trouble after winning three successive games in league and cup and re-discovering the route to goal.
Sherwood had some sympathy for his former Tottenham team-mate Poyet but is eyeing survival for his own team.
He said: "It's not great, is it, when you are beaten heavily at home. But Gus will bounce back. He's that type of character who has seen it all and done it all before.
"There's one thing Gus has got, he's got a bigger heart than anyone.
"It's a fantastic step towards safety, but there's still a lot of work to be done, we realise that. We have managed to drag Sunderland into it now and push them underneath us.
"Losing becomes a habit and winning does also, so we are hoping to continue that, albeit it's only three games."