Sunderland’s pre-season preparations have been far from ideal - with three defeats in five - as their Premier League opener against Leicester City looms ever closer but boss Dick Advocaat remains positive, according to the club's official website.
The latest loss came last night at the Keepmoat stadium as League One Doncaster Rovers emerged 2-0 victors over their Premier League counterparts.
"Everybody could see how well Jeremain played tonight," said Advocaat, in quotes published on the club's official site. "Kaboul also did very well when he came off the bench for the second half."
Lens impressed in particular last night, displaying the pace and directness that convinced Sunderland to part with good money to bring him to the Stadium of Light. He is the type of forward the Black Cats have been crying out for - for many a season - and if Advocaat can construct a solid base behind a front three of Lens, Jermain Defoe and Adam Johnson - the Black Cats could suddenly look like a real threat going forward.
Defensively, Kaboul looked dominant and composed upon his arrival and will be expecting to establish himself in the first team sooner rather than later. Despite the positives, however, last night saw yet another defeat to supposedly inferior opposition and Advocaat is aware of the need for improvement, adding:
"The fitness has to be there but it was a poor result, so hopefully on Saturday we can show how far we are with our progress when we face Hannover."
The arrivals so far this summer have been strong acquisitions but more is needed if Sunderland are to really push on next term.