After helping save Sunderland from relegation in a stunning run of play down the stretch that saw the club beat Chelsea and Manchester United and draw with Manchester City in their last six matches, Gus Poyet has been retained by the Black Cats.
The team's team's official website announced the news on Wednesday:
Sunderland AFC has announced today that head coach Gustavo Poyet has signed a new contract at the Stadium of Light, which will see him remain on Wearside until 2016.
After taking over in October 2013, the Uruguayan masterminded the club’s spectacular survival campaign, which saw the team ultimately finish 14th in the Barclays Premier League.
Poyet commented on his new deal, via that press release:
I am delighted to extend my stay with Sunderland AFC, after an unbelievable season and our famous great escape. Stability is absolutely key to long-term and sustained success for any football club, and this new contract gives both the club and me that stability going forward.
Now it's a different challenge for me and the club and I am relishing the next stage with Sunderland. We achieved so much last season, working together—the club and the fans—and we took many good memories from the season.
The prospect of creating more of those memories is one which excites me, and now I cannot wait for the next chapter in my career and the history of Sunderland AFC.
To say Sunderland were brilliant down the stretch would be an understatement. They won four of their last five matches and took 13 points from their last six contests. The only loss in that stretch came against Swansea City on the final day of the season, a meaningless game as the Black Cats had already staved off relegation.
Poyet also led the club to the final of the Capital One Cup, where they were defeated by Manchester City.
Sunderland were wise to secure Poyet's future with the club now—as Sam Wallace of The Independent noted, Poyet had another suitor:
And as Oliver Kay of The Times tweeted, the match between manager and club is a good one:
Sunderland's mad dash to remain in the Premier League was impressive, but with another year in the league, the expectations will be higher this time around. Poyet and the Black Cats figured something out later in the year, and translating that earlier in the season next year will be key.
With a smart summer transfer period and a continuation of the principles Poyet stressed in his debut season, the hope will be that Sunderland aren't dipping their toes into the relegation waters as they did for nearly the entirety of the 2013-14 season.
Poyet and the club will be certainly be hoping the 2014-15 season is a more consistent affair, and if their success down the stretch is any indication, they should be able to accomplish that.
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