Sam Allardyce claims he sees a different Sunderland side in training to the one that keeps losing.
Defeat to Southampton was the third in four games since Allardyce took over on Wearside, and he is desperate to rid his players of a fear factor he believes is hindering performances.
He said: “In training, I see a lot of good stuff, I see a lot of good things, but I ain’t seeing it when we get on the field, that’s my problem, so there’s got to be a bit of fear in the players who are frightened to express themselves.
“They’ve got to really get rid of that fear and show on the pitch what they can do on the training ground.
“They seem to find it from somewhere at the end of the season, don’t they, for some bizarre reason? The last thing I want to do is to have to try to find it at the end of the season again because you might not find it then.
“When the games go into single figures, that’s it. Now we have got a lot of games to try to make sure we get out of being in that position.”