'That wasn't us': Sunderland coach reacts to Mansfield defeat with Leeds and Wigan fixtures to come
Sunderland Under-23s boss Elliott Dickman admitted his side lacked energy as they were beaten 3-0 by Mansfield in their opening Premier League Cup group game.
First-half goals from Nathan Caine, Jason Law and Tyrese Sinclair's gave the hosts all three points at the One Call Stadium.
The competition is split into groups of four teams, with each side facing each other home and away and the top two teams progressing to the knockout stages.
In Group E, Sunderland will also face Leeds and Wigan, with the Whites set to travel to Wearside on November 10.
Dickman’s side will now prepare for Friday’s league game at Birmingham on Friday.
Midfielder Stephen Wearne could start the match at West Hills Training Ground after coming off the bench against Mansfield.
"That wasn't us tonight. We're disappointed, and fair play to Mansfield who came out with more energy than we did,” Dickman told the club’s website after the Mansfield defeat.
"There were parts in the game where we did okay - but that was just okay. I am however delighted to have Stephen Wearne back - we initially thought it could've been more long-term for him, but it's good to see him get 45 minutes and do well when he came on.
"We have to look to Friday now and put things right. We're creating chances but conceding goals at the same time, and it's what we need to improve upon."
Sunderland U23s XI: McIntyre; Richardson, Younger, Jessup (Scott 46'), Dyce (Newall 67'); Wilding (c) (Wearne 46'), Sohna; Kachosa, Kimpioka, Taylor; Harris.
Subs not used: Carney, Almond.