The Black Cats succumbed to league leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford in a distinctly one-side affair.
“We need to show some courage, rather than losing so easily like we did on Saturday,” said M’Vila.
“We need to show more aggression and courage. You should be playing matches on the edge… we’re too nice sometimes.
“It was too easy for Manchester United, when we should have been showing some aggression.
“Aggression is so important. If you go down 2-0, then it doesn’t end there and you just stop. You can’t lose like that,” he added.
Hard-work is viewed as the minimum requirement for a professional footballer but Sunderland’s bunch looked shot of belief as they went through the motions against Louis van Gaal’s men.
Their position is looking increasingly precarious, with poor results being accompanied by even poorer performances, and Advocaat faces a tough task to get his side firing.
M’Vila’s words indicate an understanding of the problem from within the squad however, and will provide some hope of a response in the coming weeks.
Next up for Sunderland is a West Ham side who currently boast a 100% away record and that will need to come to an end if the pressure is to ease on Wearside.