Fabio Borini has told the Sunderland Echo that his teammates at the Stadium of Light cannot use the international break as an excuse for their poor form.
Many of Sunderland’s players have linked up with their national team this week, meaning that their training schedule has been disrupted.
However, Borini has been keen to tell the members of Sunderland’s squad who have remained at the Stadium of Light, that they must simple concentrate on their own games, to help the side improve.
"The players that are in training must focus on ourselves," Borini said.
“I always say, ‘think about us first and then the rest’ – because if we do our job properly individually, then collectively we get the result.”
Sam Allardyce will be desperate to use the international break as a chance to work on the faults in his side.
Sunderland have looked well off the pace so far this campaign, with both their attacking and defending needing to improve.
They have struggled to break teams down throughout the season to date, while they have also conceded far too regularly.
That combination is never likely to be a successful one, and it has seen the Black Cats fall into big trouble.
Sunderland are currently in 19th place in the Premier League table, and they already have a four-point gap to safety to make up.