Dick Advocaat admits he has been disappointed by the impact from Sunderland’s summer signings.
Sunderland splashed out around £30million during the transfer window on eight players, in a bid to turn around the fortunes of a club that secured Premier League survival by just three points last season.
If you win, you win together, and you lose together.
But Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester United left basement boys Sunderland with only two points from their opening seven games – just one more than the Black Cats boasted at the same stage in 2013-14 when Gus Poyet masterminded the Great Escape.
The likes of £12.5m capture Jeremain Lens, in particular, has struggled to alter Sunderland’s pattern of toil.
Advocaat said: “It’s difficult because we brought some new players in and you hope they will do that along with the players left.
“But, at the moment, they don’t seem to be making a difference.”
Advocaat made little attempt to mask his frustration at Sunderland’s loss at Old Trafford after two goals 40 seconds either side of half-time proved fatal, when there had been few danger signs from Manchester United.
The head coach took the unusual step of naming names too – those at fault for the three goals, plus Adam Johnson, who was hauled off at half-time.
“What I don’t like is to blame players,” added Advocaat. “If you win, you win together, and you lose together.
“But when someone asked me if I thought Adam Johnson had not had the best game I agreed.
“He’s a player who with his touch can do something, but if he starts giving balls away then it’s quite simple.
“I thought (Lee) Cattermole did well apart from the first goal where he lost his man.
“Besides that, I thought Patrick van Aanholt could have come in.
“The second goal after half-time was also a joke. The first half – we were well-organised and tried to play a little bit.
“But if you are 1-0 down and they get the second one, then the game is over.”