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The Uruguayan manager is adamant that the Black Cats can still escape the relegation zone, despite sitting bottom of the table, and says no one at the club has given up

Gus Poyet insists his belief that Sunderland can retain their Premier League status has not been shaken by the club's continued struggles.

Despite victories over Newcastle United and Manchester City following the Uruguayan manager's appointment as head coach in October, Sunderland are rooted to the foot of the table, five points from safety.

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The Black Cats are without a win in four matches, but Poyet refuses to accept that relegation is inevitable and is convinced he can lead the side to safety.

"My belief hasn't diminished since I came here," said the Uruguayan ahead of Saturday's meeting with 17th-placed West Ham.

"I believe I can [keep Sunderland up]. I see things that are getting better and that we are good enough to get two or three wins, or maybe a draw, before January 2.

"From what I know, nobody at the club has given up. It would be silly to give up because there are so many games."

Sunderland travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham on Sunday, and can cut the gap between the two sides to just two points with a victory.

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