Dick Advocaat preferred to focus on a “very positive” opening 25 minutes after Sunderland’s 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Manchester City.
City were 4-0 ahead inside 36 minutes at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night, but Advocaat was buoyed by elements of Sunderland’s performance, particularly in the early stages of the game.
The Dutchman said: “Maybe you think I am negative, but I am not. Yes, negative that we lost 4-1, but the way we played in the first 25 minutes, it was very positive.
“I was not really happy with the way that we again gave the goals away, and it’s not the first time, but there’s no sense in calling names because everybody could see the mistakes, simple mistakes and it’s not possible [to make those mistakes] at this level, especially not against a team like that.
“But before that, when they scored, 1-0, we had a good chance to score, 1-1. At the moment, everything is not rolling in our way. But at a certain moment, that will change.
“I said at half-time to the players, ‘Now you have to show commitment for the team, but also as an individual because if you go on the same as we did in the last 15 minutes, then they will score four goals more’.
“But I was very pleased with what I saw in the second half. They worked very hard. You could see from the fans – they stayed until the end. But the quality from the other side was too much.”