Gus Poyet has admitted that recent signing Nacho Scocco is taking longer than anticipated to adapt to English football, but still holds out hope for the Argentine international.
Speaking with the Chronicle the Uruguayan said of his fellow South American;
I think the situation with Nacho is more difficult than what we expected.
When you are a foreigner and you come to a new country, you know that it might take a few weeks or months to adapt. We are all different.
We tried to do a plan to make him sharper without losing the weekends. But it's difficult.
It's difficult because there is a moment in the week when you need to slow down for the Saturday, so it's only four days in seven that he's able to train properly.
My idea was to have him for the last 12 or 13 games as fit as possible. But it's going to take time.
With Steven Fletcher looking like he'll be out for the foreseeable future and Connor Wickham away on loan, it leaves the club with a dearth of viable striking options in the battle to avoid the drop.
Poyet has really only Fabio Borini, who is yet to be properly tested through the middle despite encouraging early signs, a non-scoring Jozy Altidore and an unsettled Nacho Scocco to choose from.
It's highly likely that Borini will be the one to lead the line with both Altidore and Scocco being options from the bench.
Poyet had words of encouragement for Scocco though;
The quality is there. You see it every day, and he is coming every now and then with a goal from nothing and people realise.
Maybe, he needs a goal too and then everything will change. I'm going to use him the best I can.
Hopefully Scocco can get settled sooner rather than later after some fairly non-descript, cameo outings thus far in his Sunderland career.