Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat refused to point the finger at individual players in the wake of his side’s 4-1 League Cup defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
The home side found themselves 4-0 down within 36 minutes as City ran riot before the break, with Ola Toivonen’s 83rd-minute reply nothing more than a consolation.
While the Dutchman admitted individual errors had again cost his side dear, Advocaat refused to single any of his players out for criticism.
“Maybe you think I will be negative, but I’m not,” he said.
“Yes, I’m negative we lost 4-1, but I think the way we played in the first 25 minutes was quite positive.
“I was not happy with the way we gave the goals away again, and it is not the first time.
“But it makes no sense to name names – everybody could see the mistakes – simple mistakes, which are not possible at this level, especially against a team like Manchester City.
“I don’t want to point out individuals and I’m not angry, because I have seen the goals we gave away.”
Sunderland were a touch unfortunate to have a first-half effort from Fabio Borini ruled out for an innocuous foul on Nicolas Otamendi, an incident that Advocaat felt summed up his side’s current fortunes.
But he did draw positives from the fact that his charges did not crumble after the break.
“At 1-0, we had a chance [through Borini] to make it 1-1,” he said.
“At the moment things are not going our way, but I am confident it will change.
“I was very pleased with what I saw in the second half. They worked really hard and you could see the fans saw that and stayed until the end.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Wearside club, however, whose next league fixture is a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.