Gus Poyet: 'Emanuele Giaccherini has role to play'

Victor Wanyama of Southampton marshalls Emanuele Giaccherini of Sunderland during the FA Cup fifth round match on February 15, 2014
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Sunderland manager Gus Poyet insists that Emanuele Giaccherini is a key member of his squad, despite being dropped for Saturday's match against Crystal Palace.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has insisted that Emanuele Giaccherini remains an important member of the squad, despite not featuring in Saturday's goalless draw against Crystal Palace.

The Italy international, who joined the Black Cats from Juventus back in August, was not included in the matchday squad at the weekend.

Poyet is confident that the midfielder will play a crucial role as Sunderland seek to retain their Premier League status this season.

"People will ask why Giaccherini wasn't even on the bench; he's an Italian international and I know, it hurts," Poyet told the Northern Echo.

"I need him. Maybe he doesn't believe me, but I need him, because now if Fletch (Steven Fletcher) is not available then maybe we will need Giacchi there.

"And then he needs to help us, and I'm sure he will because he's a great professional."

Giaccherini has made 18 appearances for Sunderland.

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at The Emirates Stadium in north London on February 22, 2014
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