Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill admits his excuse of a lack of match fitness is 'wearing pretty thin'.
O'Neill has cited that both his forwards against Liverpool - Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon - were not at their best because of a lack of a pre-season.
Because of this he feels that was the main reason behind Sunderland's ability to kill off Liverpool whilst they were leading.
"I appreciate that the 'lack of pre-season' excuse is wearing pretty thin," said the Sunderland boss.
"We're so many weeks into the season that even I'd expect to be match-fit by now.
"But there's no getting away from the fact that it's there and it's something we are working on.
"Steven Fletcher hasn't had a pre-season, but he's much fitter than he was against Swansea a couple of weeks ago and he almost finished the game against Liverpool.
"Stephane Sessegnon? It's just not happening for him at the moment, then there was Danny Rose, who I think will be a decent player. When he gets his fitness, he will impress."
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