Boss Dick Advocaat says Sunderland have to collectively take the blame for their dismal display at Leicester – not just the defence.
Sunderland were run ragged at the back on the opening day of the season by the Foxes, who could – and should – have savoured victory by a more handsome margin.
The whole team was not in the game and that gives you real problemsDick Advocaat
Advocaat had opted to leave out captain John O’Shea by partnering Sebastian Coates with new signing Younes Kaboul in central defence, yet the pair were exposed, although perhaps not as much as full-backs Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt.
But with Sunderland’s sloppiness proving to be contagious throughout the side, Advocaat was looking at more than just his back four.
“The majority of the players are still the same and they did really well at the end of last season, as a team and as a unit,” said Advocaat.
“But the first half was very disappointing. It was the whole team, not only defence or midfield.
“The whole team was not in the game and that gives you real problems.
“Leicester were quicker, sharper and wanted to win more. Then we saw the same things as we saw last year.
“If you see their first goal, one cross and goal. The same with the second one.
“The third goal was a foul after the left-back (van Aanholt) had been sleeping.
“It’s not possible to do that. You cannot play that kind of game with everything slow.
“You have to show that you want to win. We were always late.”
In a bid to change the complexion of the encounter, Advocaat sacrificed skipper Lee Cattermole – who conceded Leicester’s penalty – on the half hour mark and brought on Steven Fletcher.
But Advocaat said: “Lee Cattermole did so many good things at the end of last year, so I don’t want to blame him.
“It’s the whole team that loses, not just one or two.”