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Poyet plays down Ji error

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet believes the furore over the club's fielding of ineligible striker Ji Dong-won will have no affect as they battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The club confirmed on Friday they had been fined by the Football Association in December after Ji played in four matches at the start of the season, despite his international clearance having not been processed.

Both Sunderland and the FA have confirmed the matter has now been dealt with but that did not stop Poyet, who was not in charge of the club at the time, having to field questions on the subject ahead of Monday's game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

"I don't think it will affect the team. When too many things happen around a club, sooner or later it does affect the team, I believe that," he said.

"This one in particular, I don't think it should affect us. It is nothing to do with how we are playing or the games we have got left.

"I know people think it shouldn't but it does. Now I don't think we have too many problems. But this has come as a surprise. People now maybe know why I couldn't play him. I knew, you didn't.

"I don't have Twitter or whatever, but I can imagine some people love Ji and when he was not playing every week and not on the bench, they were probably killing me.

"But they didn't know. I hope now they understand why I couldn't put him on the bench."

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