Sam Allardyce blamed nerves for Sunderland’s defeat to Leicester and admitted Jack Rodwell couldn’t have asked for a “better chance” to equalise.
Jamie Vardy’s brace fired the Foxes to a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light – a result which served a further blow to Sunderland’s chances of avoiding relegation.
With the score at 1-0, midfielder Rodwell was presented with a perfect chance to level the encounter, only to fire over with the goal at his mercy.
“We were nervous today because of how big the game is. It’s a legacy of not picking up the points when we should have done. That caused us to do the wrong things to try and get back in the game,” Allardyce told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t pass it anywhere near as well as we can. I think that was the main problem, not Leicester.
“We kept losing the ball in good areas, it was nothing like the passing game we showed against West Brom. We switched off once and our defence allows Jamie Vardy to do what is his major strength.
“He does what every top goalscoer does and scores it. The disappointing thing was how we reacted to that.
“I thought we were very poor after that. Jack Rodwell should have scored, you can’t get a better chance than that and it would have put it at 1-1, then in the final five you have to throw caution to the wind and they created some chances.
Sunderland are now four points behind 17th-place Norwich, albeit with a game in hand on their rivals.
Allardyce’s side visit the Canaries next week in a fixture which will go a huge way to determining both club’s survival hopes.
“Norwich was always going to be big. There would be less pressure if we had won but today was always going to be difficult to win. We are under extreme pressure that we have to make sure we handle,” he added.