Mick: Le Tallec will learn

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has reacted with sympathy to Anthony Le Tallec's evident frustration, but urged the on-loan Liverpool star to knuckle down and earn his place in the first team.

The forward expressed concerns over his role whilst on international duty with the French Under-21 side, complaining of a lack of chances and an overbearing onus on defence.

However, rather than carpet the promising attacker for his outburst, McCarthy has explained he understands Le Tallec's frustrations and reminded him that one of the purposes of his loan move was to instil a work ethic.

"Anthony must find it difficult," McCarthy told The Journal.

"He was one of those lads who is thought of very highly, but he's been shipped out and not getting a regular start here.

"I'm not surprised he is frustrated. But we know what he can do and he has just got to make sure that he trains right, prepares right and takes his opportunity when it comes.

"If he gets in the side, he's got to make sure he does enough to stay there.

"Anthony has been fine while he's been here.

"I know he is frustrated, but it doesn't mean I'm going to pick the team any differently because of it.

"Part of the reason Liverpool wanted him to come here was to perhaps learn that side of the game.

"He has a lot of talent and ability, what he is learning at the moment is that he needs to put a shift in as well."

Black Cats boss McCarthy played down the severity of Le Tallec's comments, and also warned the loan star that if he takes the field he can expect a range of defensive duties when Manchester United visit The Stadium of Light on Saturday.

"I've seen his comments, but I don't think they are bad and I suspect they have been taken out of context a little bit," McCarthy continued.

"What I will say to him is that, yes, too right, you do need to defend when you play in this side. And, if he plays on Saturday, he is going to have to defend even more than usual because we're playing Manchester United.

"I'm not worried about it. He has to realise that we're not Liverpool and he does realise that.

"All he has highlighted, and it is a lesson everyone needs to learn, is that we do have to work damn hard to survive in this division."