Gus Poyet packed his Sunderland side with goalscorers for Aston Villa
Gus Poyet's tactics for the Aston Villa game were simple - select every Sunderland player that had scored this season.
Last Updated: 01/12/13 1:55pm
Prior to their trip to Villa Park, which ended in a 0-0 draw, the Black Cats' three away games had seen three defeats, three red cards, three own goals and no goals scored.
In a bid to end that dreadful return, Poyet put any player with a Premier League goal to his name this term in his starting line-up, recalling Fabio Borini and Craig Gardner to play alongside Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini and Phil Bardsley.
Although Sunderland again failed to score, they picked up a vital away point that takes them off the foot of the Premier League table.
"I want to tell you a secret about this game," Poyet said.
"I played every single player who has scored for us this season in the Premier League, every single one.
"If you think about who has scored for Sunderland in previous games - Fletcher, Borini, Giaccherini, Gardner, Bardsley - the rest, nobody has scored. Every single one who has scored at least one goal was on the pitch.
"So we are looking for goals, I can promise you that.
"The formation maybe surprised a few but there was a reason behind it, there's always a reason, right or wrong, and it nearly worked."
Sunderland almost won the game, with Gardner having an effort ruled out for offside and Giaccherini failing to score from close range in what was one of the worst misses of the season.
Poyet has revealed the summer signing from Italian club Juventus issued a post-match apology to his team-mates.
"He's so sad, he hasn't stopped thinking about it and saying sorry," he said. "But it's football, things happen for a reason sometimes.
"The main thing is to perform and for us, without a doubt, it was our best performance away from home."