Gus Poyet has managed to persuade his Sunderland players that a Christmas party won't be necessary this year, the Daily Mail reports.
The club faces a tough battle to retain their Premier League status, as they sit bottom of the table - and Poyet intends to ensure they do everything in their power to do that, even if it means missing out on a Christmas bonanza.
Poyet told reporters: "There is a time and a place for everything but the players know the situation we are in so we have to manage it.
'It used to be normal, to have these Christmas celebrations, but someone, somehow, somewhere went over the top and then it became an issue. It should be a nice day out, a good dinner, a couple of drinks and then home. What is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.
"But when you go over the top, then it is a problem. The point is they are famous and it doesn't need a Christmas party to get people looking and talking".
The news comes as photos of Newcastle United's Christmas gathering circulated around social networking sites, going the whole hog with fancy dress getting into the festive cheer, with plenty to celebrate as they find themselves 18 points above their Tyne-Wear rivals.
Poyet's decision could come as a welcome relief to Sunderland supporters, who have seen their side muster only eight points from their opening 15 games.
Former Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio last season blamed defeat to Aston Villa on "positive poison", and Poyet is moving to assert his authority on the Black Cats dressing room, ensuring the poison doesn't carry over into this season, condemning them to relegation.
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