Sam Allardyce expects Sunderland’s January signings to continue improving as they gradually adapt to Premier League football.
Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri have both impressed since moving to the Stadium Light, while the Black Cats also landed Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N’Doye last month.
Allardyce admits his new recruits have struggled with the physical demands of football but expects them to return from a week’s break better equipped for the relegation battle.
“It’ll give them a really good release from what they’ve found to be extremely difficult, like they all do,” he said.
“They cannot imagine what (the league) is going to be like until they go in there. And when you see their faces when they come off, they realise then what they’ve come into.
“All of them have been pretty tired to say the least when they’ve come off the pitch since they started. Getting to grips with that has been extremely good.
“They’ve all contributed well. The more and more used to that they get, then hopefully they’ll produce better performances. But the performances they’ve put in until now have been very, very good.”