Belfast Telegraph

Poyet determined to turn up the heat on rookie Alnwick

By Damien Spellman

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet will target Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick in a quest for derby glory while hoping the rookie does not suffer another disaster.

The 21-year-old will line up against the Black Cats tomorrow in the biggest game of his fledgling career to date having conceded a total of eight goals in his first two senior starts for the club inside five days.

Alnwick, the Magpies' third-choice keeper, could hardly have made a better start to his spell in the limelight when he played his part in a famous 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Chelsea after Rob Elliot joined the already injured Tim Krul on the sidelines.

However, his full debut at Arsenal last weekend resulted in a 4-1 defeat, and he was culpable on two occasions on Wednesday as Tottenham also scored four times.

Poyet said: "It's obvious that position in particular is very special, the goalkeeper one is unique.

"Planning to do something different?

"No. Hitting the target? Yes. Putting the ball in the box? Yes. But that's every week, not because we are playing against this goalkeeper.

"That doesn't mean that we are going to have a free-kick in our half and we are going to put it in the air and smash the goalkeeper.

"I hope it's a normal game, no accidents.

"I would like the game to be played normally, of course to win it and Alnwick to play 90 minutes and that there are no issues and there are no misunderstandings.

"But football, I cannot predict the future at the moment. We are going to play the game normally, I hope it's a normal game.

"Now, are we going to have a shot? Yes. Are we going to have a few crosses? I hope he is going to be under pressure. But it's more up to him than to the rest. The rest is all talking."

Poyet's side currently sit in 15th place in the table having lost just four games all season, but they have won only two.

Last night's results: Sky Bet Championship: Millwall 0 Bolton 1; Sky Bet League Two: Southend 0 Burton 0; Tranmere 1 Cambridge 1.

Belfast Telegraph


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