Dick Advocaat has told his Sunderland players that their fortunes will turn if they maintain their standards from defeat against Spurs.
Basement boys Sunderland remain without a Premier League win to their names this season after a late sucker punch saw the Black Cats suffer a 1-0 Stadium of Light defeat.
If we have that spirit, then we’ll get points as wellDick Advocaat
However, the performance was Sunderland’s best of the campaign so far, with Advocaat’s side dominating proceedings during the first half, when Jermain Defoe was denied by the woodwork.
All of Sunderland’s good work came to nought in the last 10 minutes, when Ryan Mason grabbed all three points for the visitors, yet Advocaat was upbeat in his post-match assessment.
Advocaat said: “I think the crowd liked the way we play, it’s a really attractive way of playing.
“We did not get the points we deserved, but then with all respect to Spurs, they’ve got a really good side.
“But I think one point for us would have been a fair result.
“It’s a disappointing result, although not the way we played. You could see a big difference to the approach of the game from our team.
“But we were playing against a very good side in Spurs, with good individuals.
“The few chances you get, you have to score from them to make it easier for yourselves.
“At the end, you could see a few players from our team were out of shape physically.
“They scored at the right time and at the right moment, but I think we deserved more than nothing.
“But you don’t always get what you deserve.
“I said to the players that we have to take the positive things out of this game.
“If we have that spirit, then we’ll get points as well.”
Despite Jack Rodwell hitting the bar in Sunderland’s late bid for an equaliser, Defoe had the Black Cats’ best opportunity in the first half when played through one-on-one by Jeremain Lens.
But while Defoe’s shot beat Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris, he saw his effort come back off the post.
“The pass to Jermain from Jeremain was a beautiful one and a great run from Defoe,” added Advocaat.
“If we’d scored that goal, it would have given us a lift against a good side.
“They did not outplay us football-wise, but result-wise.”