Michael Gray tells Soccer AM Sunderland need patience with Gus Poyet

Last Updated: 01/11/13 1:12pm

Sunderland will be doomed if they keep changing managers says Michael Gray and he has urged the club to give new boss Gus Poyet plenty of time to help save them from the drop.

Paolo Di Canio was shown the door after a short but explosive short spell at the helm with Poyet chosen as the man to hoist the Premier League strugglers off the bottom of the table.

Having secured one point in their opening eight league games, Poyet's new boys host arch rivals Newcastle in Sunday's Sky Live match (kick-off 1.30pm) and it's a clash that is a tantalising prospect for Gray.

The former Black Cats defender, whose left foot dazzled during 363 league games over 12 years from 1992, told Soccer AM: "It's great to have Gus. I would have said Martin O'Neill was a perfect fit for the club but it didn't work out.

"I worked with Gus and he's a nice guy and fantastic coach. He did a terrific job at Brighton and I just hope they give him time.

"Sunderland just need stability. They are a great club and are brilliantly supported. The fans know they won't win the Premier League but they've got to stick with Gus. You just can't keep changing managers."

It has been a turbulent few months for Sunderland having experienced the joy of beating the Magpies at the end of last season in a thrilling 3-0 win, followed by player unrest which led to Di Canio's departure.

Gray added: "I went to St James' Park for that match when Paolo was in charge and it was just incredible. The place was buzzing.

"But what happened with Paolo was bizarre. He just tried to take it to extreme. It was a great post for him at a great club and he got everybody on side because that's what they were all waiting for.

"I was commentating on the game when we won 3-0 and it was just incredible. He's a passionate guy and I know everybody's different but changing too much was his problem and I don't think the new players that came in are good enough.

"But it was all just too much in the end."