Kevin Ball: 'I'll treat Sunderland players like men'

Sunderland caretaker manager Kevin Ball prior to kick-off in his team's League Cup match against Peterborough on September 24, 2013
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Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball challenges his players to take responsibility for their own actions under his management.

Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball has insisted that treating the players like men is the best way to rebuild confidence and trust in his struggling squad.

The Black Cats are without a win in six Premier League games so far this season, but did show signs of improvement under Ball last weekend in their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

He told The Mirror: "What's important is understanding the men and treating them that way. If something happened, I would just talk to them about it. If it continually happened, then that is a different proposition.

"What you tend to do is have house rules. You don't want me to be there going, 'You can't do this, you can't do that' because it is not going to work. I can't be there all the time.

"They have to set the rules and they have to set the standards. It has to be them that drives it on. They have got to take responsibility for their actions. I think they will do that."

Ball will take charge of third match as Mackems boss this evening when defending champions Manchester United visit the Stadium of Light.

Dwight Gayle of Crystal Palace is brought down in the penalty area by John O'Shea of Sunderland leading to a penalty and his sending off during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2013
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