A FRANTIC final few days of the summer transfer window started with disappointment at Stoke City, where Dave Kitsons volley two minutes before half-time condemned Sunderland to defeat.
The Black Cats may have enjoyed a promising opening quarter of an hour, but they could have little complaint after failing to seriously test ex-goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
With the exception of Darren Bents curling 22-yard strike that flew wide in the first half, Sunderland failed to provide much of a threat on Sorensens goal.
Now manager Steve Bruce, having witnessed Kitsons volley from 12 yards separate the two teams, will be even more determined to tinker with his squad before Tuesdays 5pm transfer deadline.
This may only be Sunderlands second defeat in four Premier League fixtures, the first was to Chelsea, but he will be unhappy with elements of his teams defending at the Britannia Stadium.
Stokes trademark long balls into the box caused constant havoc among the visiting backline and it came as no surprise when Kitson was on hand in the box to crash Kenwyne Jones attempted clearance beyond Craig Gordon.
The Potters, who brought on Tuncay Sanli and Robert Huth following their move from Middlesbrough, did have a few late scares, but so did Sunderland and the score remained the same.
Bruce is expected to add defensive reinforcements before Tuesday night, with Hulls Michael Turner in his sights.
And the non-appearance of Danny Collins, who is wanted by Stoke among others, fuelled that, even if the defender was among the substitutes, along with Grant Leadbitter, who has been in talks with Ipswich.
STOKE CITY (4-4-4): Sorensen; Wilkinson, Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham; Lawrence, Delap, Whelan, Etherington (Whitehead 78); Fuller (Tuncay 84), Kitson (Huth 90). Subs: Simonsen, Griffin, Pugh, Cresswell.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon; Bardsley, Nosworthy, Ferdinand, McCartney; Malbranque (Campbell 58), Cana, Cattermole (Henderson 80), Richardson (Reid 58); Bent, Jones. Subs: Carson, Collins, Leadbitter, Da Silva.