Advocaat forced to rethink Sunderland's defensive strategy

Reuters , Tuesday 18 Aug 2015

Dick Advocaat
Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat (Reuters)

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat said he was considering changing his defensive strategy against Swansea on Saturday after his side conceded seven goals in their opening two Premier League games.

Sunderland, who scrapped through the relegation battle last season to finish 16th, have lost both their league matches and find themselves at the bottom of the league table.

Advocaat admitted he had no clue why his team's defence was so fragile.

"I didn't want to change the back-line already after one game," the 67-year-old manager was quoted as saying by the Sunderland Echo.

"But at the moment, there are players playing who I can't understand why they are playing that way. I cannot understand it, honestly. But there must be a reason and I hope that they can tell me."

The Sunderland full-backs have came under heavy criticism from the media, especially left-back Patrick van Aanholt who was continuously targeted by both Leicester City and Norwich City.

Advocaat refused to blame his full backs but admitted he needed to change a few tactics and switch to a more defensive strategy.

"I spoke to the players and told them that we like full-backs, who if the possibility comes, they go forward. But I've changed that. I've now set up a different way," the former Netherlands manager said.

"The first way for the back four is now defence. And then the opponent cannot get the kind of space they got at Leicester.

"Take care of your man, and beside that, if you can do a little bit more, then go forwards, otherwise not. We have to change the basic facts."

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