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Advocaat: Pre-season form no reason to be alarmed

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat said he is focused on building fitness and not results ahead of the 2015-16 Premier League season, after the club crashed to consecutive friendly defeats.

Advocaat’s men surrendered an early lead as they were overhauled 3-1 by Mexican outfit Pachuca in Sacramento on Friday.

Jack Rodwell’s fourth-minute opener was swiftly cancelled out by Ariel Nahuelpan’s quick-fire brace before the interval, while teenager Hirving Lozano completed the scoring in the second half.

The result condemned Sunderland to back-to-back pre-season losses following their shock 1-0 defeat to Sacramento Republic on Tuesday, but Advocaat is not concerned.

“Everyone wants to win the friendly games, but it is about fitness. The day before the game we practiced two times,” the Dutchman said afterwards. “They were very demanding sessions.

“I am focused on making sure we have the right shape and that we know what to do in certain moments against Leicester [City, on the opening day of the season], physical wise. I have no doubts about that.”

Advocaat added: “Every day, you can see the progress. The players need less rest in between the exercises, you can see that.

“It is coming. Playing games is the best exercise you can get.”

Sat 18 Jul, 2015
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