Poyet expects response after eight-goal thrashing

Gus Poyet wants an instant response from his Sunderland players following the humiliating 8-0 thrashing at Southampton on Saturday.

A shambolic second-half performance left Poyet to rue his darkest day in football and he intends to spark a reaction from his team, hinting that a gruelling week of training and soul searching awaits them in the aftermath of the result.

Defeat leaves Sunderland one point above the bottom three with eight games gone in the 2014-15 Premier League season. 

And Poyet has called for some character to be shown in the wake of the club's south-coast battering this weekend. 

"It's going to be a difficult week and the players next week out there on the pitch are going to have to do something about it," said head coach Poyet. 

"I don't like apologies because they make it look like you've done something bad. 

"I picked the same team that beat Stoke [City, 3-1 before the international break] with only Billy Jones missing. So these are the same players.

"We started well, we were in the game and everything was going alright. The second half showed me a lot about individuals. More than what you would think.

"It's very good to see your team winning and say 'Oh he's good, he's good, he's magnificent.' But when you lose like we did then you see real characters and real players on the pitch."

A home clash against Arsenal on Saturday is next up for Sunderland.