Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat attempted to remain positive after watching his team slump to their third loss of the pre-season.
While Advocaat labelled the 2-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers “a poor result”, the Dutchman highlighted Sunderland’s fitness and urged his players to show improvement against Hannover on Saturday – their final friendly before the 2015-16 Premier League season begins.
Goals either side of half-time to Cedric Evina and Harry Forrester saw Doncaster triumph at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday, as the Rovers became the third club to beat Sunderland this close-season after third-tier American outfit Sacramento Republic and Mexico’s Pachuca.
“The fitness has to be there but it was a poor result, so hopefully on Saturday we can show how far we are with our progress when we face Hannover,” Advocaat said, according to Sunderland’s website.
Both Jeremain Lens and Younes Kaboul made their first appearances for Sunderland, which gave Advocaat something positive to focus on.
“Everybody could see how well Jeremain played tonight,” the 67-year-old said.
“Kaboul also did very well when he came off the bench for the second half.”
Sunderland will take on Hannover in Germany on Saturday before they begin their Premier League campaign away to Leicester City on August 8.
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