David Moyes has revealed the Sunderland coaching staff are constantly working with Lamine Kone to improve his defending.
It comes after the Ivorian centre-back was heavily criticised by former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher during his Monday Night Football analysis earlier this week.
Carragher ripped into the Sunderland stopper – who was at fault for the first goal in the 4-1 defeat against Arsenal – calling it a ‘lazy’ performance against the Gunners and questioning his attitude this season.
Kone was one of the standout performers in last season’s survival but his form has dipped this campaign.
Moyes didn’t see Monday Night Football but was aware of Carragher’s comments.
And the Sunderland boss said his coaching staff have been working regularly with Kone to improve his defending, with video sessions and time out on the training pitch at the Academy of Light.
Moyes said: “I actually didn’t see the programme.
“We have been doing that with Lamine every day since I came in.
“And I’m surprised that it hasn’t been noticed much sooner.
“It has happened in every single game, the same scenarios are happening in every game.
“But because it gets flagged up by somebody of that ilk, then everybody says it.
“We have been in the video room, we are on the training ground constantly to try and get his body position right, the right spaces.
“I think if you look through a lot of our goals you would see similarities in quite a lot of the situations.”
Kone was subject of a £18million bid from Everton in the summer, but Sunderland blocked the move and handed the defender a new, improved contract.
There has been fresh speculation this week that West Ham United, Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United have been keeping tabs on the defender ahead of the January transfer window.
He came in for heavy criticism from Carragher after the heavy Gunners defeat.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Carragher said: “I think he was a man mountain last season, him and Jermain Defoe. They virtually kept them up.
“But he’s nowhere near where he needs to be and he’s causing Sunderland no end of problems. (It was a) lazy performance against Arsenal. (He was) not interested in doing his job properly.”
Kone will line-up against Bournemouth side this afternoon at the Vitality Stadium.