Another relegation scrap seems inevitable, and the difference between the Premier League and the Championship could come down to which teams finish their chances.
He is confident that, “if [they] can play exactly like [they] did against Spurs in future games, [they] should be okay”.
But it was the much-maligned Ryan Mason who saved the day for Spurs.
Sunderland rallied and were nearly back on level terms just two minutes later but Jack Rodwell’s sweeping effort from inside the box was denied by the crossbar, as their wait for a league win will now extend to the sixth game. Mason was still mobbed, even in injury.
“Ryan has a knock on his knee from when he scored”. “We hope it’s not a big problem”. The manager asked me to play and I did my best.
“When they asked me about him, I said if we can keep him, let’s do it. But the final decision was that of the club”. Remember he didn’t start to score until maybe two months into last season. The mentality is for the team.
The first half ended with Sunderland dominating and looking composed with the new look midfield, but their dominance wasn’t rewarded as the Black Cats really should have been in front at the break.
The defeat was tough on Sunderland, who were the better team in the first half. “For that he is happy”.
Both sides made three changes, with Advocaat recalling Jordi Gomez and handing debuts to Ola Toivonen and Fabio Borini, who has returned to Sunderland from Liverpool after a previous loan spell in 2013-14.
It did not look like the Defoe of Tottenham. The former Spurs striker, deployed in his favoured centre-forward role, had already tested Hugo Lloris with a long range shot when he sprinted on to a delightful through ball from Jermain Lens.
The Tottenham woodwork would be struck again, immediately after Mason’s goal.
So far this season, Kyle Walker and Younes Kaboul have been the standout defenders for their respective sides, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
The goals will come, but the sooner the better. The loss also means that the Black Cats have only managed to pick up one point from three home matches. We do as well but you can see physically some players need a bit more. I think we’ve been solid defensively all season but when you play open football you can get caught by teams with great pace, it can happen. We just didn’t get the points we deserved.
He said: “No, I didn’t expect to play in the starting eleven, but I’ve been training hard to be ready”.
“We’re happy with the players we brought in because they improve the squad and now we have to find the right balance”.