Dick Advocaat highlights key positive from Sunderland's defeat to Manchester City

The Black Cats were dumped out of the League Cup in unceremonious fashion on Tuesday night.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has insisted in the Echo that there were signs of encouragement on Tuesday night despite suffering a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City.

The Black Cats struggled to contain City’s expensive attack in the first half, and found themselves four goals down at the break.

Advocaat’s men stemmed the flow in the second half, however, and pulled back a consolation goal through a well-taken Ola Toivonen header.

Aside from the result, Advocaat feels the chance to give valuable game time to those not yet fully match sharp was a huge benefit.

“I was pleased with the 90 minutes for (Adam) Johnson, (Ola) Toivonen, Borini (Yann) M’Vila and (Jeremain) Lens. That is important,” he told the Sunderland Echo.

“I’m not negative… I was very pleased with what I saw in the second half.

“They worked very hard and the fans could see that by staying until the end.”

Sunderland’s miserable start to the season has been compounded by the fact that the majority of their new arrivals were not regular fixtures at their former clubs.

Levels of match-sharpness haven’t been up to speed, as a result, and have left the Wearside club playing catch-up with the rest of the league.

The new boys are slowly starting to make their mark, however, and with DeAndre Yedlin producing an impressive display on his debut, there is still cause for optimism at the Stadium of Light.

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