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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL updates: Advocaat calls meeting to discuss Sunderland's woes

EPL updates: Advocaat calls meeting to discuss Sunderland's woes

August 16, 2015 19:22 IST

Sunderland's Jeremain Lens (left) and Norwich City's Steven Whittaker compete for the ball during their Barclays English Premier League match at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Saturday

Sunderland's Jeremain Lens (left) and Norwich City's Steven Whittaker compete for the ball during their Barclays English Premier League match at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Saturday. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Sunderland must find a quick solution after another shocking display on Saturday, a 3-1 home defeat by Norwich, left them stuck at the foot of the Premier League, manager Dick Advocaat said.

The defensive fragility that haunted Sunderland against Leicester City in a 4-2 opening defeat arose again as Norwich City made off with victory at the Stadium of Light.

Bookmakers have already installed Sunderland as favourites for the drop and Advocaat, who extended his stay at the club after saving them from relegation last term, will need all his managerial skills to turn his side around.

He said he will hold a meeting with his squad to try and work out where it is going wrong.

"It was even worse than last week," Advocaat said, which is quite a statement considering the scorn poured on Sunderland's poor defending at Leicester.

"We have to discuss with the players how we go on.

"We have to find the solution, because otherwise we have no chance."

Thousands of fans had already left the stadium when 21-year-old debutant Duncan Whatmore scored an 88th-minute consolation against Norwich, with many calling on the club chairman to spend more money.

Yet Sunderland have added to the squad in the summer, with defenders Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Coates and Adam Matthews coming in along with midfielders Jeremain Lens and Yann M'Vila.

"Even this squad must be good enough to get a better result against Norwich, with five new players, but there is something wrong, that's quite simple," Advocaat added.

"It was the same in pre-season and you hoped it would change but it is not changing.

"I have an idea about it, but tomorrow we will have a meeting and they can talk and I will talk. Myself as well, I am responsible for that, no doubt."

Sunderland will need a quick fix because they face in-form Swansea next week.

'Everton rout a wake-up call for Saints'

Everton's James McCarthy vies for the ball with Southampton's Maya Yoshida

Everton's James McCarthy vies for the ball with Southampton's Maya Yoshida. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Livepic/Reuters

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is still hobbling around on crutches after an Achilles operation. His team are limping just as badly in the Premier League.

The south coast club have earned just a point from their first two games of the new season, with Saturday's 3-0 home drubbing by Everton highlighting the same defensive fragility exposed by Newcastle in last week's 2-2 draw at St James' Park.

The departures of right back Nathaniel Clyne and defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin in the summer appears to have unsettled a defence that conceded just 33 goals in the league last season -- second best only to champions Chelsea (32).

Defender Maya Yoshida said the Saints must shake themselves out of their early season slumber, especially with a Europa League tie against Danish side Midtjylland coming up midweek.

"Nobody expected it to go like this because it was our opening home game," Yoshida told Southampton's official YouTube channel.

"We made completely the same mistake as last Sunday against Newcastle from the set-piece.

"The second goal was a mistake. It was too easy to concede the goals and I think Everton played like we wanted to play. They deserved to win the game."

After two straight seasons of selling their top talent to Premier League rivals, Southampton's early form suggests they will struggle to match last year's seventh-placed finish.

"We have a game in the Europa League on Thursday so it's a very important wake-up alarm for us," added Yoshida.

"We have to concentrate to make a clean sheet. We need to be more compact, more solid physically and tactically we need to be more intelligent. We need to improve a lot of things.

"We will talk about the previous game, with the coaching staff and the team. We have to talk and I hope we can get our confidence back on Thursday."

Koeman, who had surgery to fix his Achilles injury just before the season began, said the changes to his defensive personnel could be behind the lack of cohesion.

Southampton signed central defender Steven Caulker on a season-long loan from relegated Queens Park Rangers late last month after Romanian Florin Gardos went down with a knee injury that could keep him out for seven months.

"Last week we received the second goal at Newcastle out of a corner kick. You can't do those kind of mistakes," Koeman told the club's website.

"We don't have a lot of options defensively at the moment and maybe that makes everyone a little bit more unsure than normal.

"We have to accept defeat, learn from it and keep going."

Southampton travel to Watford on Sunday for their next Premier League fixture.

Martinez calls for unity after protest by Everton fans

Everton manager Roberto Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez called for unity at the club after supporters staged a protest against chairman Bill Kenwright and the board of directors during Saturday's 3-0 win at Southampton.

A plane displaying a banner reading 'Kenwright & Co #timeto go NSNO' flew over the ground while Everton were registering their Premier League victory.

'NSNO' is a reference to Everton's Latin motto 'Nil satis nisi optimum' (nothing but the best is good enough).

"We need to be together, help each other and push in the same direction because that makes a difference," Martinez was quoted as telling the BBC.

"The chairman is an incredible Evertonian who has done a fantastic job over the years. Only he knows the effort he had to put in for the football club."

A group of supporters are unhappy with the level of investment in the team.

Joe Jennings, editor of the fan website School of Science, told the Daily Mirror on Friday: "The time has come for Bill Kenwright to accept his performance as chairman has been unacceptable and to let go of the club".

Everton are third in the league with four points from two matches.

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