Struggling Sunderland are not playing well enough to play “pretty football” and will have to outwork teams to climb the Championship table.
That’s the view of attacking midfielder George Honeyman, who has offered a revealing insight into Sunderland’s current approach.
Sunderland have got off to a terrible start in the second tier since relegation from the Premier League, with Simon Grayson overseeing just a single league win in 11 games.
A hard-fought point away at Preston North End raised hopes that a corner could soon be turned with a more to back to basics approach.
Honeyman, who has three goals this season, admits the Black Cats are not in a position to play flowing football from the back and have to adopt a more “effective,” direct approach.
The 23-year-old academy graduate says Sunderland will have to outwork teams and do the ugly side of the game to start climbing the table.
Honeyman said: “I don’t think we’re in a position where we’re playing well enough to start playing pretty football, getting it down and passing it out from the back.
“We’ve got to try and outwork teams, pick up second balls.
“It might not be pretty at times but I think we showed at Preston it can be effective, especially with Duncan Watmore getting on the flick-ons and stuff. It’s going to be effective and we’ve just got to stick with it.”
Sunderland are without a game this weekend due to the international break, they return to action at home to QPR at the Stadium of Light next Saturday.
* Sunderland’s U23s kick-off their Premier League International Cup Group B campaign against Hertha Berlin at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday (KO 7pm).
Elliott Dickman’s side, who reached the final of the competition last season, will also take on Polish side Legia Warsaw and fellow Premier League 2 outfit Leicester City.
Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for over-65s and under-16s. Turnstiles 1-8 and 17-24, located in the west stand, will be open from 6pm and car parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no free entry for season card holders due to competition rules.