Sam Allardyce has implored his Sunderland side to show more fight in their Premier League relegation battle and says they must be “an awful lot better” than Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Manchester City.
Sunderland were second best in all aspects at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and were 3-0 down by half-time as Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony all found the target for City.
The situation worsened after the break when the impressive Kevin De Bruyne extended City’s lead and, despite Fabio Borini’s consolation, Sunderland could have lost by more had Bony not blazed a penalty over the crossbar.
The Wearsiders have been struggling with injuries to the likes of Younes Kaboul, Adam Matthews and Sebastian Larsson, but Allardyce concedes Sunderland – who are five points from safety in 19th – must improve.
“Injuries aside, which is making things that bit more difficult, we have to look at ourselves and be an awful lot better,” he told BBC Sport.
“The fact of the matter is results are not good enough at the moment. The results have to turn and turn quickly.
“The way we are going at the moment it is where only a win will do and the way we are going at the moment we won’t win every game.
“Draws are also important. That is what kept Sunderland up last time.
“We lack consistency. We do okay in possession but it is what we do out of possession. Our position won’t be determined by what we did at Manchester City but you want to see a bit more fight than we saw.”