Shocking show has Advocaat in rush to fix Black Cats

Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates (left) using a bicycle kick to get the ball away from Norwich striker Cameron Jerome. Sunderland fans, though, would hope the Black Cats can avoid the spectacular and get the basics right as the team are rooted to
Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates (left) using a bicycle kick to get the ball away from Norwich striker Cameron Jerome. Sunderland fans, though, would hope the Black Cats can avoid the spectacular and get the basics right as the team are rooted to the bottom of the league table.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has conceded that his side must find a quick solution after another shocking display left them stuck at the foot of the English Premier League.

The defensive fragility that haunted the Black Cats against Leicester City in a 2-4 opening defeat arose again as Norwich City made off with a 3-1 victory at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Bookmakers have already installed Sunderland as favourites for the drop.

Advocaat, who extended his stay at the club after saving them from relegation last term, will need all his managerial skills to turn his side around again.

He will hold a meeting with his squad to try and work out where it is going wrong.

"It was even worse than last week," the Dutchman said, which is quite a statement considering the scorn poured on Sunderland's poor defending at Leicester.

"We have to discuss with the players how we go on.

"We have to find the solution because, otherwise, we have no chance."

Goals from Russell Martin (26th minute), Steven Whittaker (37th) and Nathan Redmond (57th) ensured that the newly-promoted Canaries stretched their unbeaten away record under manager Alex Neil to 13 games.

Thousands of home fans had already left the stadium when 21-year-old debutant Duncan Whatmore scored an 88th-minute consolation against Norwich.

Many of the supporters are calling on club chairman Ellis Short to spend more money.

Yet, Sunderland have added to the squad in the summer, with defenders Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Coates and Adam Matthews coming in, along with midfielders Jeremain Lens and Yann M'Vila.

"Even this squad must be good enough to get a better result against Norwich, with five new players, but there is something wrong, that's quite simple," Advocaat added.

"It was the same in pre-season and you hoped it would change but it is not changing.

"I have an idea about it but, tomorrow, we will have a meeting and they can talk and I will talk.

"What was so wrong was I saw players - I don't want to mention names, it was the whole team, with the exception of one or two players - and they did things that I don't expect from a player at this level.

"I have to know why that can happen because it's really strange for me. You can play badly but not even knowing what to do is even worse.

"I'm really shocked."

Sunderland will need a quick fix because they face unbeaten Swansea on Saturday.

The Swans held champions Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in their opening match, before defeating Newcastle 2-0 at home two days ago.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'Shocking show has Advocaat in rush to fix Black Cats'. Print Edition | Subscribe