Baffled Sunderland chief Dick Advocaat seeks answers after Norwich City rout

Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat met his players on Sunday for a post-mortem on Norwich City's 3-

Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat met his players on Sunday for a post-mortem on Norwich City's 3-1 Premier League win. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Baffled Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat hopes crisis talks with his under-performing squad can end a wretched start to their Premier League season.

The Dutchman ordered his players to report to the club's Academy of Light training complex on Sunday in a bid to find a solution to a nightmare opening which continued against Norwich on Wearside after shipping four at Leicester City.

'I expected a much better response after the previous game, but it was even worse than last week in my opinion,' said Advocaat. 'We have to make it simple and if we can not do that then we have a problem. You have to ask the reasons for that.

'Are we playing the wrong system? Do they not have enough quality? That's what we have to find out as quickly as possible.

'At training they give everything. I cannot complain about that but during the games it is very difficult to try to find out what this is. It is very difficult to explain the reason why we are not a team – 11 players play, but we are not a team. I have to think about the reason because I am responsible for that.

'Two games two defeats, we did not expect. We have to discuss with the players how we go on. Last season, everybody had to do what we asked. It was quite a simple system, but that is not working anymore at the moment. We have to find an answer as quickly as possible. It was very frustrating; not only losing 3-1, but again the way we've played, I did not expect it. In pre-season, we trained hard, the games were not good, but you hope that when we train less and the season starts the shape will come back.'

Advocaat saved Sunderland in a fire-fighting role at the end of the last campaign, but the Wearsiders look set for another miserable struggle as they prop up the rest at the foot of the table.

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'This squad has been together for quite a long time and the last nine games of last season we had one system and everyone knew what they needed to do,' he said. 'We now try a different system, it is not working so we have to go back to basics.

'You can talk about bringing in new players but this squad must be good enough to get a result against Norwich with five new players. There's something wrong.

'I've an idea about it. I don't want to mention names, because it was the whole team, except for one or two players and they are doing things that I don't expect from players at this level.

'I have to know why that can happen. It's really strange for me. You can play bad and bad, but not knowing what to do makes it even worse.'