Sunderland boss Chris Coleman was left to rue the naivety of his team as they gifted a late goal to Norwich City last night.
The Black Cats could have cut the gap to four points ahead of games against Reading and Burton Albion, but Ivo Pinto’s 89th-minute goal – in a 1-1 draw –leaves them six adrift.
Sunderland have chucked away a number of goals from dead-ball situations this season and Coleman admits his side are not ‘savvy enough’.
He said: “The other results went for us. We missed a penalty ... people miss penalties, it is part and parcel of the game.
“Ovie got a one v one, two good opportunities to score and we don’t.
“I thought, when we scored, we were going to win it. I thought we would go on to score again.
“Just five minutes [to see out]. We have seen it before.
“Normally it is before half-time, there is a set play and we don’t deal with it and we are 1-0 down.
“We are not streetwise enough, savvy enough to deal with that.
“I am really disappointed for the players. That is four games running, they have given everything they have got (and picked up only five points).
“It has been open in every game because we have been going for it.
“We could be sat here with 12 points and we have done enough to win games.
“We have done enough to beat Norwich. They had chances, but, at 1-0 up, we had to see through the game.
“We can’t give too much more in terms of effort, making chances and scoring goals, but we are lacking a streetwise mentality. It has cost us tonight, for sure.”
Sunderland’s relegation could be all but confirmed should they lose to Reading on Saturday. A win for Bolton at Barnsley would leave the Black Cats nine adrift with three to play.