Hoyte staying hopeful

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Sunderland new-boy Justin Hoyte has dismissed fears about The Black Cats' league position despite the club sinking to four successive defeats on their return to The Premiership.

Hoyte moved to The Stadium of Light on loan as a counterweight in the deal that took Mart Poom to Arsenal on transfer deadline day, and in doing so has joined the Premier League's bottom side.

The talented young full back is ready to undergo a baptism of fire for his new employers on Saturday as the Wearsiders travel to London to take on Chelsea.

Mick McCarthy's side have a substantial task on their hands at Stamford Bridge if they are to avoid making it 20 defeats in a row in the highest echelon of English football, but Hoyte insists that relegation issues will only begin to manifest themselves over the festive period.

"You can't be worrying about the bottom of the league now," said Hoyte.

"Come Christmas and towards the end of the season that's when you need to be looking at it and hopefully by then we'll be out of the relegation zone."

Black Cats boss McCarthy insists his charges have not yielded the points their efforts deserve so far this term, and revealed he was asking his stars to take the game to the Premiership champions at the weekend in the search for crucial Premiership points.

"We've got to get three points from somewhere," said McCarthy.

"We need the amount of points it will take to stay up from 34 games not 38 because we haven't won one.

"People think is that going to happen? But we've played well enough.

"You've got to keep it tight, that's a prerequisite when you play someone like Chelsea.

"If you give them an easy start they all relax and play better and it's going to be a difficult afternoon."