Training hard and building fitness levels is more important than friendly wins, insists Dick Advocaat after Sunderland were beaten by Sacramento Republic.
The Black Cats went down 1-0 at Bonney Field in the first game of their tour of North America.
“Obviously if you lose it’s not good, but for me it’s more about getting in the right shape for the opening game of the Barclays Premier League season against Leicester,” said Advocaat.
“You could tell that Sacramento are in the middle of their season and we are not yet at the same place and we also had to change the team at the break.
“A number of the international players have only been back a few days, but we still have another two games here.
“We need to get into better shape and we will get there.
“The result is never as important in pre-season.
“The players are training hard and that’s more important than the way we play at the minute,” Advocaat told the club’s website.
* Our Sunderland AFC writer Chris Young is on tour with the Black Cats across North America and you can follow him every step of the way thanks to our live blog.
As the only journalist from the North East following the club overseas, he’ll be bringing you all the latest on new signings, what we can learn from the friendly games and updates from head coach Dick Advocaat and his squad.
He will also be live blogging the matches and hosting live Q&As which you can get involved in by clicking here.