Sunderland are only two points above the bottom three after a home defeat to QPR.
Sunderland fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home against Queens Park Rangers last night, which leaves Gus Poyet’s men just two points above the Premier League’s bottom three.
Here are five things we learned about the team from the performance.
First half performances need to be better
Sunderland need to start the first half of games stronger. The team invited QPR onto them when they should have pressed to try and get themselves in front at home quickly. The concentration during the early stage of matches also needs to be better.
More grit needed
Fans can cope with any defeat if the players have genuinely worked their socks off. However, there seemed to be a lack of grit from the side. They needed to show the fight to get back into the game, but heads dropped and QPR consolidated for a victory.
Alvarez should be starting
Alvarez found himself on the bench after getting himself into form in the last couple of games. He was taken off during the match against Swansea but maybe should have featured from the start with Poyet playing in his positive recent frame of mind.
Poyet needs to be quicker to make changes
Alvarez coming on was the first change that the boss made, but by that time the match looked beyond Sunderland. Poyet can’t be afraid to make big calls early on and admitting to himself that plans prepared before a game haven’t worked.
Time for Fletcher to have a run of games
Steven Fletcher may not be the most technically gifted of Sunderland’s attacking players, but he injects that work rate and enthusiasm into the attack. He gives defenders problems because he never stops moving and should perhaps have a run of games to give the attack something different.