Gus Poyet says football is testing his heart after Man City draw

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet joked that football was trying to kill him after his side came close to earning a shock Premier League win at Manchester City.

The Black Cats were denied victory when Vito Mannone spilled Samir Nasri's shot two minutes from time.

The 2-2 draw leaves Sunderland bottom of the table with five games left.

"I haven't had the heart attack that football is trying to give me every game," said Poyet, whose side are six points from safety.

They have a game in hand on their three nearest rivals in the table - Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich - but face a trip to Chelsea on Saturday.

Sunderland's 2013-14 run-in

  • Sun 20 April: v Chelsea (A)
  • Sun 27 April: v Cardiff (H)
  • Sat 3 May: v Man Utd (A)
  • Wed 7 May: v West Brom (H)
  • Sun 11 May: v Swansea (H)

Poyet said the performance at Etihad Stadium had given him hope in a week where he has dismissed rumours that he would quit the Premier League strugglers.

After the game at the Etihad, he said the speculation was "stupidity" and admitted fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez would be delighted with the result, as it helps Liverpool's title chances.

"Maybe we helped them," said Poyet, adding: "We are playing for ourselves, we are not playing for Liverpool."

Poyet remains optimistic Sunderland can lift themselves out of danger.

"We conceded a goal after two minutes at Manchester City and every single person in the world expected us to lose from there," he said.

"But we passed the ball and create chances. We kept believing.

"We got a point and now I'm sure all the players are believing they can get at least that if they play the same way at Chelsea.

He added that Nasri's late equaliser had been a blow.

"I tell you what, I'm testing my heart this year," said Poyet. "Every week. I'm realistic and I'm not going to change now. We played a great game and took something from it.

"I thought for a few minutes we were going to get all three points, but we didn't because of an incredible moment again.

"We won't stop or give up because the players know how important it is for the fans and the club to keep going until the end."