Advcoaat feels his midfielder could be more of a 'nasty' player.
Advocaat was full of praise for the performance Rodwell put in at the heart of the side's midfield during their 1-1 draw with Swansea City last month, but suggests there is room for improvement from the player.
He told the Sunderland Echo: “I think Rodwell can do even better, even though the Swansea game was the best game I have seen from him.
“He can play much better aggression-wise, second ball-wise and interaction during the game.
“In principle, he is a player that can use his right and left foot, but the aggression is part of it too.
“If you can’t do that in the top league, then you have no chance.”
Rodwell has always been highly rated. He was a regular in the first team during his time at Everton, and his qualities meant that Manchester City dipped their hands in their pocket in order to sign him. However, injury problems and lack of games meant that he left the Etihad Stadium, but Rodwell has never really had the reputation of getting stuck into challenges in the middle of the park. Advocaat feels that needs to change when the Black Cats aren't in possession.
It will be interesting to see how Rodwell reacts to these comments in recent weeks by his conduct on the field and whether there will be any kind of change to his game - whether he will be more aggressive and willing to get stuck into challenges.
It may be one thing that Advocaat feels that is missing overall during their game is a bit of bite in the midfield that could help improve their fortunes after a disappointing return of two points from their opening four games.