SEB LARSSON today delivered a damning verdict on Sunderland’s attacking threat – admitting the Black Cats simply aren’t up to scratch.
Top scorer Larsson’s eighth minute strike in Saturday’s clash with Wigan should have prompted a rout from the hosts, given Sunderland were facing a ragged side at the foot of the Premier League, who had managed just two away goals all season.
But Sunderland failed to add to their tally during a dominant opening spell and were punished by Jordi Gomez’s penalty on the stroke of half-time and Franco Di Santo’s stoppage time winner – to leave the Stadium of Light calling for the head of boss Steve Bruce.
Although Larsson reiterated his belief that Bruce should stay at the helm, the Swedish midfielder insists Sunderland must face the truth of their inadequacies up front.
Larsson told the Echo: “We’re just not good enough in the final third, let’s be honest.
“No disrespect to Wigan, but we should be winning those types of games.
“We got off to the start we needed and the one we wanted to.
“We could have been two or three up after the opening 30 minutes, but that’s been our problem all season. We don’t take our chances.
“We don’t put the game beyond doubt and we did the same thing again.
“They got a penalty and in the second half, it gets nervy and edgy. When we got down the sides of them, we weren’t good enough.””
The 26-year-old added: “I still believe he’s (Bruce) the right man for the job.
“But I’m not surprised by how the fans reacted.
“We lost a game at home that we should have won if we want to get to where we want to be.
“We have to take a long look at ourselves and see why things are going the way they are.
“That’s the Achilles heel, because we haven’t conceded that many goals.”
Larsson was equally critical of Kevin Friend’s decision to award Wigan a spot-kick when he was adjudged to have felled Latics winger Victor Moses.
The former Birmingham man, back in the side after returning from suspension, was adamant that he didn’t make contact with Moses, even if the leveller was little excuse for Sunderland’s second half display.
“I didn’t touch him so it’s hard to see how it was a penalty,” said Larsson.
“I’d say the goal at the end summed us up at the moment. Things aren’t going for us.
“Without playing particularly well in the second half, there was one team trying to win the game.
“We had good chances, like Kieran’s (Richardson) header, and we got down the sides enough times to create something.
“But we don’t do the right thing in the final third and if you don’t do that, you don’t win football games.
“I watched the Fulham game from the stands and it was the same then.
“We do a lot of stuff right until the final third and then we don’t score enough goals. Everyone can see that.
“In the first half, we missed the chances and in the second half, we missed the final ball.”