Yann M’Vila feels Sunderland are “too nice” and wants the struggling Black Cats to be going into matches “on the edge”.
The Wearsiders remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester United, after which Dick Advocaat picked some of his players out for individual criticism.
M’Vila was one of few players to emerge from Sunderland’s defeat with any credit, and the combatitive midfielder has urged his team-mates to join him in showing more “aggression and bravery”.
“Perhaps the confidence is a problem,” M’Vila was quoted as saying by The Chronicle.
“When you have not won then it is not going to be too high.
“We absolutely need to win for everyone at the club.
“I hope we can get it next week against West Ham before we go away for the international break.
“That is a very, very important match for me in front of our supporters.
“We need to show some courage rather than just losing so easily like we did on Saturday.
“We need to show more aggression and bravery.
“You should be playing matches on the edge.
“We are just too nice sometimes. It was too easy for Manchester United when we should have been showing some aggression.”
Advocaat’s side repelled United for the opening 45 minutes until their defence was breached by Memphis Depay in added time before the break.
Sunderland then found themselves 2-0 down and out of the game just minutes after the break, when Wayne Rooney broke his Premier League goalscoring drought.
M’Vila says the timing of the opener was tough to take, but the second goal “killed” Sunderland.
“We were good for that first half – controlled, blocking things,” said M’Vila.
“We were not really able to play, though, we gave the ball away too easily.
“We were not able to keep hold of it long enough.
“However, the goal just before half-time killed us. It just killed us.
“To lose another goal so soon after half-time completed a bad day for us.
When you concede a goal so soon before half-time then you have to come out afterwards and be strong.”