LONDON, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is losing patience with his side's shoddy defending, accusing his players of thinking as individuals rather than a team.
With his side rooted to the foot of the Premier League, having won one of their last nine games, Poyet was left scratching his head after midfielder Lee Cattermole's error cost them in a 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday.
"It is difficult to take. Football is unpredictable but when you start well and have chances you have to take them," Poyet was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"Unfortunately the mistake was against us and after that there were too many nerves and too much tension.
"I don't know why they (the Sunderland players) were nervous and we were not organised enough. People were making individual decisions but not thinking as a team and that disappoints me. I'm getting a little bit fed up."
Sunderland have 14 points from their first 20 games, which is four points from the safety zone, and while they are leaking goals at the back they are also struggling up front.
They have the joint second worst record in the league in front of goal, having only scored 15 times this season, and have now drawn a blank in three of their last five.
"The weakest people look for excuses and it is all down to us to correct it. We miss quality to play at this level and do what we need to do when we are in control of the game," Poyet added. (Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Ken Ferris)