Gus Poyet Exclusive: Return To English football Is “Number One Objective”

Former Sunderland and Brighton boss Gus Poyet is targeting a return to English football – but admits it will be difficult after six years away. The 54-year-old former Chelsea midfielder first stepped into coaching at Swindon Town in 2006 before working his way up the pyramid. Since leaving Sunderland in 2015, Poyet has taken jobs in almost every corner of the globe. However, getting another job in England again remains high on his radar.



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Return To English Football

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “My number one objective is to come back to England.

“After playing in England for seven years with Chelsea and Tottenham, and then coaching as an assistant with Dennis Wise (at Swindon Town and Leeds United) and Juande Ramos at Tottenham, for a couple of years when I retired, I then went on to manage Brighton and Sunderland – that was another nine years of my life.

“I wanted to try something different and I decided to go to Greece (AEK Athens), which was a great experience, in terms of football and life.     

“The plan was to go and come back, but life and football took me to Spain (Betis), to China (Shanghai Shenhua) and to France (Bordeaux).” 

Back Into Reckoning

Poyet believes that his time away may have cost him another shot. But the Uruguayan maintains his record should be enough to stand him in good stead.

“I was away from England for too many years and when you leave the circuit, it’s a little bit more difficult to get back into the game (in England),” he said. 

“There is a circle of managers rolling around that they change positions, doing well, doing not so well; it doesn’t matter. 

“They are in the game, they are constantly in the running for different jobs and when you are out of it, it’s difficult to get back

“My four years at Brighton were very successful, we improved each year and started to create an identity that the club still has today. 

“And then Sunderland, it was the biggest job I ever had and one of the biggest achievements (avoiding relegation from the Premier League in 2014).  

“Beating the drop that year, it was miraculous – I find it quite strange now not to have an opportunity to get back in.”




Uruguay An Option

If a path back into English football doesn’t materialise, one option could be with his national team.

Uruguay recently parted company with their manager of 15 years, Oscar Tabarez – and Poyet says the opportunity to coach La Celeste, for whom he earned 26 caps between 1993 and 2000, would be too good to turn down.

“As a football player, you have ambitions to play for your country one day, I was lucky to win the Copa America in ‘95.  

“And then, when you become a coach, you prepare yourself for that as well – to lead your country as a manager would be amazing.

“I always say that, from my side, I need to prepare, I need to prove myself to deal with top players with egos because that’s what you’re going to find in a national team.

“I want to learn about other countries and also to prepare properly. 

“When you’re coaching a team, you have the whole year with the players and can work with them every single day, making them better. 

“When you’re a national team manager, it’s more about the selection – how you pick the players. 

“Now, after Oscar Tabarez has gone, there are a lot of names linked with the job. 

“But obviously, I would be very interested in having the opportunity to talk to the Uruguayan Federation.”


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