Sam Allardyce bemoaned Sunderland’s display against Southampton and feels his side are playing with fear and must cut out the silly mistakes.
The Black Cats remain firmly entrenched in the relegation mire after Dusan Tadic’s 69th-minute penalty earned Southampton a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light – and Allardyce has warned his troops they’ll be relegated if they don’t soon cut out the errors.
“We are playing with fear and we need to get rid of that,” he told the BBC.
“In the end we have gifted it to Southampton.
“We need to pass the ball better. Our passing in possession was poor and I think it’s the fear of the position we are in.
“It could have been a point, it could have been a point at West Brom. That’s two points.
“We have to do better and cut out the silly mistakes. At the moment we are not good enough.”
Allardyce had no complaints about the decision, but plenty about the tackle.
He said: “He [M’Vila] didn’t need to go to ground. He’d done the job, he’d covered around DeAndre [Yedlin]. Just jockey the player out of the box.
“The player sees the tackle and goes, ‘That’s me, I’m going down now’, and he can’t argue with the penalty decision because if he’d just stayed on his feet, the lad was going nowhere.”
The defeat was the third in four games since Allardyce took over on Wearside, and he is desperate to rid his players of a fear factor he believes is hindering performances.
He said: “In training, I see a lot of good stuff, I see a lot of good things, but I ain’t seeing it when we get on the field, that’s my problem, so there’s got to be a bit of fear in the players who are frightened to express themselves.
“They’ve got to really get rid of that fear and show on the pitch what they can do on the training ground.
“They seem to find it from somewhere at the end of the season, don’t they, for some bizarre reason? The last thing I want to do is to have to try to find it at the end of the season again because you might not find it then.
“When the games go into single figures, that’s it. Now we have got a lot of games to try to make sure we get out of being in that position.”
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