David Moyes insists Papy Djilobodji will “get better” and is convinced he has “good raw material” to work with.
The boss sang the praises of the central defender ahead of Sunderland’s EFL Cup tie at Queens Park Rangers (kick-off 7.45pm).
Djilobodji’s previous excursion to the capital had an unhappy ending when he fluffed a clearance to present a goal on a plate for Harry Kane, who duly tucked in to score the winner in Tottenham’s 1-0 victory.
Otherwise, the 27-year-old performed with credit at White Hart Lane, though Moyes is aware the Black Cats can’t afford any more repeat mistakes.
“We can’t keep leaking goals,” admitted the manager. “What I will say about Papy is that he is aware of a couple of mistakes he has made.
“He’s watched the clips on the video and we’ve looked at what he should have done better and how he should have dealt with things.
“He’s accepting that, we’re on the pitch with him trying to make things better.
“It would be worse if it was someone saying ‘no, I’m not making any mistakes, I’m doing fine’.
“But he’s accepted it and he understands it.
“When you have people who accept they’ve made mistakes there is every chance of making them better.
“I think Papy will get better and I have to say he has not played that badly, it’s been more about lapses in concentration in games.”
Moyes says the attitude and honesty displayed by Djilobodji are great traits, but added that his ability as a footballer is the key to him being a success at the Stadium of Light.
“Of course we want to improve and of course Papy wants to improve and I have to see that in him,” said the Scot.
“He has to show me that he is improving because obviously we can’t continue to concede goals.
“Papy has an awful lot of good attributes – he is naturally left-footed, he’s good on the ball and gives us a little bit of composure so we can play from the back.
“He is a good passer, he’s very good in the air so there is certainly some good raw material to work with.”