Tony Mowbray said Jewison Bennette is struggling with the language barrier after the Costa Rican rescued a point in an enthralling 2-2 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Sunderland manager sent on a quartet of substitutes including Bennette, who scored his side’s 86th-minute equaliser. Mowbray said: “Jewi really can’t communicate with anyone at the club yet. He literally finds it difficult to understand anything we tell him. He just smiles at everything.
“That’s the same for a few of the substitutes I put on today. When they stood on a chair and sang their initiation songs, they were all in French, so they got clapped off pretty quickly.
“But as a club, we will help them with that and get them lessons. That’s a lot better for them than sitting in a hotel room and trying to learn it through television.
The real positive is that the young lads helped us recover from 2-1 down today and get a point, which will help them.
“But if they hadn’t done it in training, I wouldn’t have put them on. You can’t keep knocking them back and leaving them on the bench.”
Mowbray believes Sunderland’s haul of four points from trips to Reading and Watford in the space of four days will allow him more time to blend the players he has inherited from Alex Neil into his own side.
He added: “Four points on the road against two teams, one with huge expectations to do really well [Watford] and one [Reading] which has started the season really well, helps the process of getting where we want to be.”
For Watford’s manager, Rob Edwards, it was a third straight match without a win for his team, but he is not unduly worried. He said: “I’m frustrated with the result but overall I saw a lot of positive signs today. For a 20-minute spell after half-time I saw the team that we want to be for 90 minutes.
There are lots of good signs. But we need to maintain that consistency within games.
“It’s amazing how goals can change games. We got the second goal and it’s happened a few times now that we’ve scored and then switched off a bit. We want to have that intensity for the full game.
“I can’t fault the efforts and commitment of the players. What I want us to learn from is that when we’re on top and in the ascendancy, we need to ride that as long as we can.”
Edwards’ side led first through Keinan Davis and then Luke O’Nien’s own goal. The manager said he was disappointed with the manner of Sunderland’s equaliers. The first was given when Aji Alese’s shot was adjudged to have rolled across the line by goalline technology, while Watford’s defenders left Bennette unmarked for the second.
Edwards added: “I wasn’t sure what the referee had given. I thought it might have been a free-kick because there didn’t seem to be any appeals from Sunderland either so I was surprised when they started celebrating.
“There are lots of things we can address and some basics that we need to tighten up on.”