The Black Cats struggled to contain a rampant Manchester City side on Tuesday, but loanee Yedlin impressed on debut.
The Swede played 90 minutes as Dick Advocaat’s side crashed out of the League Cup to Manchester City on Tuesday night, and grabbed his first goal for the club in the process.
It proved to be nothing more than a consolation after the league leaders had strolled into a four-goal lead in the first half, with Sunderland once again guilty of naïve defending.
The 29-year old has called for a greater defensive awareness as a collective in the coming weeks, as Sunderland look to end a rotten run or results.
“I am enjoying my role but we need to find our position in defence more so we can counter a little bit faster,” said Toivonen, in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo.
“We can’t complain how we are playing offensively. But as a team we need to be better defensively, as a group.”
City could have been further ahead than the four they managed, and Sunderland’s defensive frailties remain Advocaat’s biggest challenge going forward.
One area of solace was the impressive debut of on-loan Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin. The USA international was a constant threat down the right flank and created several chances with pinpoint deliveries from wide.
Toivonen’s goal came from one such cross, and the former Rennes man singled out Yedlin for special mention, adding:
“Two times he produced good balls for me, he had a good game.”