Lamine Kone reveals the reason behind Sunderland’s poor start to the season

Lamine Kone
Lamine Kone
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Lamine Kone was left devastated by Sunderland’s collapse to Crystal Palace – and has pointed to a lack of concentration as the main problem.

Sunderland’s new-look defence shipped three second-half goals for the second successive home game on Saturday to leave them rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

Jermain Defoe had put the Black Cats in a commanding position, his second goal putting Sunderland 2-0 up after an hour.

But Sunderland then conceded within 30 seconds and Palace went on to snatch victory in injury time.

“This result against Crystal Palace is very difficult to take,” a visibly frustrated Kone told the Echo.

“We were 2-0 up after an hour, to then lose the game 3-2 is very difficult for the team, the club and the fans who come to watch.

“The problem? Maybe it is down to concentration.

“What happened, it is not normal.

“Yes, we made it difficult for ourselves [after conceding straight away].

“I don’t know why.

“We hope that we can win the next home game against West Brom this weekend, we have to now quickly look to win the next game.”

After a long-drawn out saga, the 27-year-old finally signed a new five-year deal this summer after strong interest from Everton, who lodged an £18million bid.

Since returning from a back injury, the Ivory Coast international has partnered £8million summer signing Papy Djilobodji, who has come under criticism for his recent performances.

“Yes, it is a new defence,” added Kone.

“I have been playing alongside Papy, but it is okay. There is no problem.”

Patrick van Aanholt was the defensive weak link against Palace, with Joe Ledley’s goal deflecting off his boot to make it 2-1 before James McArthur beat him in the air to equalise.

Christian Benteke then comfortably beat Jan Kirchhoff in the air to power home a header in added-on time to take all three points back to London.

The crushing defeat means Sunderland are still searching for their first league win.

There were, however, some positives for David Moyes.

Club record signing Didier Ndong impressed on his first home start with his non-stop running and crunching tackles, while Defoe now has four Premier League goals to his name.

Kone, who played alongside Ndong in Ligue 1 at former club Lorient, said: “Didier is a good player.

“He ran a lot, he has a lot of energy which is good for the team. He is very aggressive in his play and he is a really good player.

“We need Didier.

“Jermain is very important for the team too.

“He scored two goals – he is very important for the next game against West Bromwich Albion.

“Three points is very important for us against West Brom, especially before the international break.”