Gary Rowell: Mediocre Premier League teams at the bottom mean Sunderland still have hope
Sunderland made it three defeats in a week when they produced another uninspiring performance against West Brom on Saturday.
It is difficult to see how they can turn this bad run around unless fresh blood is brought in to freshen up what looks like a demoralised squad decimated by injury - and the ones not in the treatment room look devoid of confidence and belief.
You have to go back eight league and cup fixture since Sunderland actually scored first in a game and against West Brom we looked like a team just waiting to go a goal down and when that happens to Sunderland, it is usually followed quickly by another.
That’s always a sure sign of a fragile mentality and it’s a massive job for any manager to instil belief into players who are getting accustomed to losing.
The usual second-half improvement, just like the last Premier League game against Stoke, means nothing as the damage had been done and the opposition play at a different tempo as they don’t need to chase the game with a two-goal cushion.
When a team is struggling for form, then taking advantage of set-pieces can be a way of getting something from a game.
But that never looked like happening and one promising free-kick position in the second half was messed up so badly that West Brom could have scored from it, but for a professional foul from George Honeyman.
I’ve been a player in these desperate sitatiuons before and it’s not a good place to be.
The dressing room will be hurting, or at least I hope it is, but everyone must stick together, fight for each other and if you do that, sometimes even when you are at your lowest ebb, your luck can change.
The one hopeful thing we have to cling on to is that we are just three points from safety when after the season we’ve had we should be cut adrift.
And if it was not for Liverpool unbelievably gifting Swansea three points, the gap would be even less.
For all the problems Sunderland have, there are a lot of other mediocre teams at the bottom, so even if it’s for that reason alone I am not giving upon this season yet.