Sunderland boss Gus Poyet believes Swansea City have benefited from maintaining a consistent tactical approach in recent seasons.
The Welsh club face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday having claimed nine points from five Premier League games this season.
Although Garry Monk has only been in charge of Swansea since February, initially as a temporary successor to Michael Laudrup, Poyet has highlighted the value of several managers at the Liberty Stadium following the lead of Roberto Martinez, who introduced a slick brand of passing football during his time as boss between February 2007 and June 2009.
"They have an advantage because other than the top seven the difference between teams [in the Premier League] is the quantity of time they have been playing a certain way, because you only have to add pieces to that puzzle to make you better," Poyet told Sunderland's official website.
"I think it is a great advantage what Swansea have been doing from the time of Roberto Martinez, because he influenced a lot in the potential of the team that Swansea play week-in, week-out.
"They have a certain way of playing and they buy players to fit that system, so they have got ahead of most of the teams in the bottom 13, as we call it."
Sunderland have yet to win a league game this season, drawing four matches either side of a 1-0 defeat at QPR.
However, Poyet remains confident in the quality at his disposal.
"I think there is very little between us and the rest,” explained the Uruguayan. "It is very tight so we are competitive and we have had opportunities to win most of the games.
"It is now up to us to make that extra bit of quality, decision-making or belief to make the difference because it is there and it is very close."comments