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Saturday, 28 February 2015, 15:00

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Poyet: Brown key to survival

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet believes keeping centre-back Wes Brown fit and healthy for the rest of the season will be vital to the club's survival chances.

Last Updated: 11/11/13 at 16:28 Post Comment

Wes Brown: Gus Poyet hopes the defender will remain injury-free

Wes Brown: Gus Poyet hopes the defender will remain injury-free

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The former Manchester United defender made his first competitive appearance in nearly two years during the 1-0 defeat at Hull City as the Black Cats were reduced to nine men last weekend.

That was his first outing in the Premier League since January 2012, with a knee problem having prevented him from playing any part for Sunderland this term.

Brown, 34, then produced a commanding display after being given a run-out against Southampton in the last-16 of the League Cup success in midweek.

And he followed that up with an equally impeccable performance in the 1-0 victory over Premier League title-chasers Manchester City on Sunday.

"Maybe he was the key to the clean sheet and the difference between conceding or not," Poyet told The Journal.

"Maybe that's the different level of a player who has won the Premier League. He can see things before the rest.

"It was not easy to keep him out because I know Wes was desperate to get back, but as a staff and manager especially, you have to make decisions.

"We kept him out and he played in the U21s. We put him on the bench and then because of the two red cards, he jumped in.

"Then, it was up to him. He played 90 minutes in midweek against Southampton and was strong and clever when he passed the ball.

"I don't know how he is going to be tonight after another 90 but he has time to recover. The key now is to keep him fit."

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Readers' Comments

W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

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