Dick Advocaat explains dilemma over fitness levels at Sunderland

The Dutchman started several players who seemingly were not yet up to speed.

Dick Advocaat has suggested he is in a Catch-22 situation when it comes to trying to raise the fitness levels of his squad, in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo.

The likes of Fabio Borini, Jordi Gomez and Ola Toivonen have seen little game time in recent months but were thrown into the fray against Spurs on Sunday.

Their performances will have please the Black Cats boss, with his team producing their best display of the season before tiring and eventually succumbing to a Ryan Mason goal late on.

Questions were raised following the match however, concerning the Dutchman’s use of several players who were clearly unable to perform for 90 minutes but Advocaat maintains he had little choice.

“How can I get them match fit if I don’t let them play?” said the Sunderland boss in the Sunderland Echo.

“At a certain moment, they will pay it back to us, I have no doubts about that.”

On the evidence of the first 75 minutes against Spurs, Advocaat will probably be proven right.

The Black Cats looked as threatening as they have done all season going forward and the likes of Younes Kaboul and Patrick van Anholt improved massively on their previous displays at the back.

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