Dick Advocaat's side have endured a slow start to the season, and he may have highlighted some reasons for it.
The Black Cats did plenty of their business late on in the window, with the likes of Fabio Borini and DeAndre Yedlin among those who signed shortly before the window closed - and several other members who joined during the close season only managed to link up for the pre-season tour in Canada.
Advocaat's side have had a very slow start to the Premier League season - only picking up two points from their opening six matches and progressing to the third round of the League Cup courtesy of a bizarre 6-3 win over Exeter City.
This evening, his side face Premier League leaders Manchester City, and it looks as if a few of the new players will get some game time at the Stadium of Light.
He's quoted in the Chronicle saying: “This is not a negative squad, it is a very positive one.
“However, you have to take into consideration the way we started in July (without some of the new players) until a month ago (when they arrived)].
“That is not the best way to prepare.
“We still have to find out what the best XI is.
“We have some ideas about our strongest team but let’s wait and see how it goes in the next few weeks.”
One man that is reportedly certain of his debut is defender DeAndre Yedlin, who is currently on loan from Tottenham. But with one of the sterner tests of the season facing Sunderland in the cup, it gives an opportunity for those starting to force themselves into the reckoning for games to come.
It looks as though the league will be the priority for Sunderland, especially after the start to the season they have made. Though a win over Manchester City will be welcome, and provide a confidence boost for the side, they would probably prefer more points on the board, as even at this stage things look bleak for them in the Premier League.
Advocaat says he has an idea about his preferred starting line-up, and it's something he probably needs to settle on quickly in order to turn their poor season around.