Dick Advocaat is glad to see Younes Kaboul making a positive impact on Sunderland’s defence after a tough start for the £3million summer signing.
Kaboul struggled during Sunderland’s opening two games of the campaign, as he shook off the rust from seven months without a competitive outing at former club Tottenham. The 29-year-old was then forced to miss the games against Swansea and Exeter due to a minor knee problem.
I think Kaboul did really well on Saturday. He’s a good player, but he’s needed a bit of timeDick Advocaat
But, despite being limited in his participation on the training field last week, Kaboul was far more assured in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, even if Sunderland are still searching for their first clean sheet of the campaign.
“I said before that I was not happy with the central defenders,” said Sunderland boss Advocaat. “And I think Kaboul did really well on Saturday.
“He’s a good player, but he’s needed a bit of time.
“But I think everybody needs a bit of time.
“I thought the combination of (Sebastian) Coates and (John) O’Shea was really good last season, but I started with the younger players because I thought they could do it.
“There was an issue with Kaboul’s knee and he did not train totally, but on Saturday he did really well.”
While Sunderland have shipped 11 goals in the opening four Premier League games, they are having no problem finding the net at the other end.
Only reigning champions Chelsea can match Sunderland’s tally of six goals in the bottom half of the table, although Advocaat is looking for a better balance between attack and defence.
He said: “We’ve scored six goals, but, on the other hand, we’re giving goals away.
“We have to improve that as a team, not just one player, but as a team.
“Everybody has to stick to his task.
“If everybody is not doing it 100 per cent, then you have a problem.
“(Jermain) Defoe and (Jeremain) Lens are showing they can score.
“They prefer to have the ball and go forwards, but the first option is still to keep the opposition in front of you.”