Sam Allardyce urges Sunderland's squad to identify their strengths and weaknesses

Sunderland are currently sat in 19th place in the Premier League table, having leaked goals on an alarming basis.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has told the Northern Echo that many of his squad still don’t know their own weaknesses, meaning that they may have to revert to a less risky style of play. 

The Black Cats have made a disastrous start to the season, and they are currently sitting in 19th place in the Premier League table.

One of the major contributing factors to this poor opening to the campaign has been persistent individual errors, which have given cheap goals away.

And Allardyce feels that these costly mistakes are being made as Sunderland’s squad do not know where their weaknesses lie.

“We should get back to being resilient in terms of how we approach the game,” he said. “I'm finding out what our strengths and weaknesses are. I'm not sure all the players have actually identified their own strengths and weaknesses.

“Sometimes they don't like to hear what they're weaknesses are but they have to take it on the chin and not let those weaknesses get exploited by the opposition. Can we always afford to play it out from the back? No?

“I want the players to understand that because, against a high pressing team, they'll sometimes find themselves two and three nil down before they can even adjust.”

Allardyce has taken charge of four games as Sunderland manager so far, and the points have not flowed as freely as many were hoping.

The Black Cats may have beaten Newcastle United 3-0 on derby day, but they have lost the other three matches they have been involved in under new management.

As a result of this poor form, Sunderland are currently languishing inside the relegation zone, and they are under pressure to start adding points to their tally quickly.

Allardyce’s side are already four points adrift of safety, and their next match comes against ambitious Crystal Palace after the international break.

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