Belfast Telegraph

Poyet: Money can't buy derby joy

Gus Poyet says that even the richest man in the world could not buy the derby joy he and his Sunderland side experienced on Sunday.

The Black Cats claimed a fourth successive victory over arch-rivals Newcastle and their third on the trot at St James' Park at the weekend to leave Wearside wreathed in smiles and the men who secured it experiencing "unique" emotions.

Poyet revealed even a post-match warm-down and an enforced prolonged stay on Tyneside could not spoil the party.

He said: "I know how much it means. We scored and we went ballistic and it was difficult to control the bench - imagine how much it means for them (the fans), who have been supporting this club all their lives?

"It was special. It's so special that it doesn't matter how long you have to stay at the ground, because we were held for a while. Normally you would have every single player complaining, 'Let's go'.

"Nobody complained, everybody was all right, everything changed. Even if you say to them to go and do a warm-down and they need to go back to the pitch, it was no problem this time.

"It's unique, it's the best part of football. It's not about money. I'm sure that the biggest multi-millionaire in the world would pay whatever money it takes to be part of that moment.

"And you know what? He can't because you need to be a football player or be involved in football to be there and feel it. It's not about money, it's about being good enough."

Poyet, who was installed as the club's new head coach in October last year, boasts a 100 per cent record in his three derbies to date having quickly gleaned just how important those games are to two clubs and their respective fans.

The win was just Sunderland's third in the Barclays Premier League in 17 attempts this season and while Poyet will now turn his attention to the Boxing Day clash with struggling Hull and the business of putting together back-to-back victories, he knows just what their latest success means to the supporters.

He said: "I'll tell you what, when you come here you know you need to win one or two games, especially these ones, and the times you win them, there is no better.

"I don't think they care too much about the rest, the fans, they just care about this one, and it's great to be on this side of it. There is no better feeling.

"Now we are already somehow thinking 'can we go one better when we play at the Stadium of Light?' Every single game now between us and Newcastle is going to be bigger because of that record."

Sunday's victory was all the more impressive as it came after Anthony Reveillere, the club's only fit specialist left-back, limped out of the warm-up with a calf injury, although one which has proved to be not as serious as was first feared.

Poyet said: "It's an injury, but it's a muscle tear. We were really worried because of the translation of what he felt, we were thinking it was something really bad.

"But in the end, it's just a tear and the normal time would be between three and four weeks. It's not lucky that he's injured, but we feared the worst, so it's not that bad."

Hugely-experienced skipper John O'Shea was asked to step out of central defence to plug the gap, and he performed his role with aplomb to win fresh praise from Poyet.

The Uruguayan said: "Experience, understanding, composure - it's great to have him. That's why he's the skipper. You don't pick them just by luck, you know what you need and it was easy."

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