Sam Allardyce says it was Sunderland’s poor start that cost them in the 1-0 defeat to Watford at the Stadium of Light.
Just four minutes were on the clock when Odion Ighalo prodded the Hornets ahead and, although Sunderland improved as the game wore on, the Black Cats were unable to find a way past Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal.
“It was just the beginning of the game that was the poor bit,” insisted Allardyce. “Because of that, we lost a game we shouldn’t have done.
“Some of the chances we created and missed in the second half were a big problem for us. I look at the chances in the last 15 or 20 minutes and I am a little bit dumbfounded why we haven’t at least got one point on the board.
Sunderland’s latest survival bid looked to be on track after back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace and Stoke City in November.
However, two defeats on the bounce since then has curtailed their efforts and put them back to square one ahead of a tough festive schedule that sees Allardyce’s men face Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
“If we had won it would have made such a huge difference but now we are back in the pressure pot, which is really disappointing with the games we have coming up,” added Allardyce.
“It’s now essential that we get points from our next three games, had we got three points today it would have been nice to get points in those games, but not as essential as it is now.”