Sunderland players have been put on notice by Sam Allardyce, with the manager saying some may be “surplus to requirements” if they do not start performing.
The Premier League strugglers are second-bottom in the league table and are on a run of four successive losses.
Allardyce took over from Dick Advocaat in October after the Dutchman resigned with Sunderland winless through eight games.
Despite guiding the side to three wins – against Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Stoke City – Allardyce has lost patience with their recent poor run, and said the time for “reckoning” has come.
“I’ve been nice to them up to now. I’ve got along with them. But we have to face the fact,” Allardyce said.
“Everybody has had a go, everybody has had a chance and the time has come for the reckoning. The reckoning means that players might not get another chance.
“They might be surplus to requirements. I’ve said that to players. It has been done and said.
“Am I going to continue to be patient with them or are they going to prove they’re capable of playing week in, week out and get us out of trouble? Everybody has had a turn.
“Everybody sits in this room and looks me in the eye and when they’re not playing they say, ‘Well, why are you not picking me?’ Now they’ve all had a turn, so I can say to them, ‘I’m not playing you because when I did you weren’t good enough.’
“That’s the hard reality. They don’t like to hear it, but it’s a sad fact.”
Sunderland finish 2015 with a home clash against Liverpool on Wednesday.
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