Cape Town - Constant change of players and managers at Sunderland are affecting the club's team spirit, midfielder Lee Cattermole has said, as the serial strugglers remain winless in the Premier League this season.
Sunderland, who have flirted with relegation for the past four seasons, replaced Sam Allardyce with former United and Everton boss David Moyes in the close season.
It was the club's fourth-full time managerial appointment since sacking Paolo Di Canio in September 2013.
Sunderland have also made a host of squad additions in the close season, including bringing in Javier Manquillo, Papy Djilobodji, Paddy McNair, Donald Love, Adnan Januzaj and Steven Pienaar as they aim to finish higher on the table.
"I've been here before, in terms of the start of the season," Cattermole, currently in his eighth season with Sunderland, told British media.
"It's very difficult because you look at every season, you make a number of changes, and you lose your team spirit to start with because there are a lot of new faces.
"There are people coming in and there's a lot to ask from the new players because they've come into a team where no-one knows each other."
"I just have to look at Sunderland in recent years, we have made a lot of changes - for one reason or another - and that makes it difficult for us."
Sunderland have lost four of their five league games, mustering just three goals, and are languishing in the relegation zone, but Cattermole is confident that the team can string together a run of good results.
"But the lads who are here are committed and we are going to turn it around," Cattermole said. "We just need to stay patient, keep believing what we are doing and showing the right attitude."
Sunderland next face second-tier side Queens Park Rangers in the league cup on Wednesday.