Soccer-Life's no fun for Sunderland manager Poyet

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Guy Poyet has only been Sunderland's manager two months but his new job is already giving the Uruguayan the blues.

The 45-year-old replaced the volatile Paolo di Canio in October after Sunderland managed only one point from their first seven Premier League games and while there has been an improvement of sorts, his side are still marooned at the foot of the table, five points adrift of safety.

Sunderland face fellow strugglers West Ham United on Saturday when anything less than a win would mean they will be bottom at Christmas - a position that only West Bromwich Albion have escaped from since the Premier League began in 1992.

That is why festive cheer may be in short supply in the Poyet household.

"Is it enjoyable? No, I can tell you it's not, but I don't think everybody gets a job and tries to enjoy the job," Poyet, who has masterminded wins over Newcastle United and Manchester City, said on Friday.

"That's a dream job. That's what I have said to the players: You want to play football? Yes. You want to earn money? Yes. Have you got a lovely place to train? Yes. Then you are lucky because you are enjoying your life.

"But at the moment, no, I am not really enjoying my life. But it's the way it is. I am trying to make sure I can enjoy it in a few weeks' time, that would be nice."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is probably under more pressure than Poyet after a run of four defeats in five games.

The former Sunderland player, one of the Premier League's most experienced managers, points out that the three clubs below West Ham have all sacked their managers this season but he is not expecting to get caught up in the annual cull.

"Everyone will speculate about my position because I'm around where all the other clubs are and all the other clubs have got rid of their managers so they all perceive that I'm the next in line," he told a news conference.

"It's about picking up a few results up and then the pressure goes away for a while.

"Both teams need to win, that's what you need to do and I presume that listening to Gus' quotes that's their objective.

"They've got to start winning somewhere along the line, as have we, we need to start winning more games." (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)