Sunderland boss Chris Coleman admits that the number of players on short-term contracts have hampered his attempts to foster a spirit of togetherness since taking over.
Coleman was forced to rely on loan deals in January after being told there was no money for signficant additions.
At least 10 players will leave in the wake of relegation to League One and Coleman admits that has not been ideal.
He said: “I think there have been questions about our togetherness. For me, or whoever is going to be here, they have got seven players going back to their parent clubs and another five or six out of contract, so it is question of whether you get the chance to turn it around.
“You could say it is an opportunity, but the question is whether that is going to be me or not to build something.”
Coleman also reiterated his long-held view that his squad had not been robust enough for the rigours of a Championship campaign. He said: “Look at the problems we have had recently,
“In the last two games, we have had to change half of our back four, not because we wanted to but we had no choice.
“We have always mentioned the word robust and we have not been robust.
“We went to Derby, we played Reading, Norwich and Sheff Wed – you could not look at both teams and say ‘I can see why they are where they are’.
“There was not much of a gap between us.
“In most leagues, the teams that are together properly, physically strong and well organised you can get over the line with that.
“I am not saying they will get promotion but you won’t be relegated. Those are the things we came up short on.”