Gus Poyet defended Liverpool's Luis Suarez on Goals on Sunday
Luis Suarez should be admired, not slated, by fans and media, Gus Poyet told Goals on Sunday.
Last Updated: 13/01/13 2:11pm
Despite racking up 30 goals in his first 64 Premier League appearances, controversy has surrounded Suarez for much of his time in this country, with a goal he scored following a handball in the FA Cup against Mansfield last weekend the latest in a series of innocents which have led to media and fans criticising the Liverpool man.
However, fellow Uruguayan Poyet says Suarez is a talented player who fans should enjoy watching - and people in this country should accept that his upbringing in a different culture means he will sometimes act in certain ways.
"We're all different and you need to accept how Suarez is, his character," Poyet told Goals on Sunday.
"We cannot change people - otherwise we'll finish with just robots.
"I've spoken to him and he's enjoying his time here. He knows about his mistakes and he's trying to put it right. But please don't make him a robot.
"There are too many players who need to be told what to do in every action, but he's not like that."
Poyet, who signed for Chelsea from Real Zaragoza in 1997, revealed he experienced a culture shock when he first started playing in England.
He said he was stunned when Zaragoza teammate Nayim - who had previously played for Spurs - explained what football was like in this country.
Poyet said: "Nayim said to me 'don't try to do this, don't try to do that, don't score a goal with your hand, don't go down if you're not fouled,' and I said 'am I going to another planet?'
"When I first game to England I was injured which was actually lucky because I was able to watch five months of football from the stand and listen and learn and think 'oh, you can't do that in England'.
"I would have done anything possible to win a football game in Spain."
And Poyet added that he believes there is still a major difference between the way the game is played in England and elsewhere in the world.
"I go to Spain every now and then to watch my team, Zaragoza," said Poyet. "When I see someone dive I say 'come on, stand up' - and then I realise I used to do the same a few years ago!"