Bardsley: Black Cats need touch of flair
Phil Bardsley says Sunderland are struggling to maximise the potential of their flair players, and has urged his team-mates to "keep plugging away".
The Black Cats have struggled to score goals or win games so far this season, and Bardsley told The Journal: "The work ethic is there. There are times where we have comfortable possession but the opposition has everyone behind the ball, so at times we need to force that pass and create something.
"That means giving the ball away sometimes, which is frustrating at times. We have to try and pass the ball forward and get it to the players with a bit of guile and flair.
"We have to get them on the ball in the right areas, and at the minute we're just struggling to do that. We have to keep plugging away and I'm sure it will come."
He urged Sunderland's players to ease the goalscoring burden on striker Steven Fletcher, saying: "We can't just rely on Steven to score goals every week for us."
"Others have to come to the party, and against QPR [in a 0-0 home draw on Tuesday] we created a number of chances which we were really unlucky with. It's not for a lack of trying that we're not scoring goals."
He praised goalkeeper Simon Mignolet - who was back in top form against the Londoners after his error gifted Shane Long a goal in West Brom's recent win at the Stadium of Light - describing him as "a top goalkeeper".
"We're fortunate to have a goalie like Simon at this club, and he's pulled us out of trouble enough times this season and over the last two seasons," he said.