Sbragia defends Jones decision

Striker jet-lagged after international trip

Sbragia: Relegation worries

Sbragia: Relegation worries

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Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia has defended his decision to leave star striker Kenwyne Jones on the bench following their 2-0 defeat to West Ham.

Jones, who was on international duty with Trinidad and Tobago in midweek, was only used as a second half substitute after the Black Cats had already conceded two goals without reply.

When asked to explain his decision to drop Jones, Sbragia was keen to point out that he was not ready to start the match following his journey back to England, which had left him jet lagged.

"We thought about that (starting Jones) but he's had a long travel, we didn't see him until late on Friday so there was a problem with his sleeping, he didn't sleep well last night so that was a massive concern to us," Sbragia told Sky Sports.

Sunderland now sit just one place above the relegation zone, and Sbragia knows his side must perform better than they did at Upton Park if they are to beat the drop.

"I thought we started well today and had a couple of chances and we thought we'd go in 0-0 at the break but we conceded.

"It made it very difficult for the second half so we looked to change it, then conceded again from the corner kick - a set play - so from our point of view it was very disappointing.

"We had a couple of half chances, a few long range efforts but at 2-0 as far as I was concerned the game was over.

"It was hard work. West Ham are a good team and they made the pitch very big, we brought Carlos Edwards on to maybe give us a little width but when your 2-0 up you tend to control the game and West Ham did that.

"We thought maybe we could get something here this time, we need to get a win and we need to get it soon. We've got to do better than we did here today."