Sunderland must dust themselves down and bounce back quickly ahead of the biggest game of the season, insists Duncan Watmore.
Watmore, who played for more than an hour in last night’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool after coming on for the injured Jack Rodwell, was left deeply frustrated by the fifth straight Premier League defeat to Liverpool.
It has left Sam Allardyce’s side in deep trouble, seven points adrift of safety at the halfway stage of the season.
But Watmore says his team-mates can’t feel sorry for themselves and must gear themselves up for the visit of bottom side Aston Villa on Saturday.
Basement side Villa are four points adrift of Sunderland, so a sixth straight defeat would be unthinkable.
“We know Villa is a big game, but we have to treat it as professionally as you can and play your own game,” Watmore told the Echo.
“We know the situation, but we need to treat it as any other game and try and win and that’s what we will try and do.
“If we all apply ourselves properly we can pick up three points.
“We are looking at three positive results to get out of the bottom three.
“We know where we are and we need those positive results quickly.
“The only way we can do that is by playing well and having a positive outlook on it.
“That is what we need to do, pick up good results,” added Watmore, who has broken into the first team picture this season.
A 46th-minute winner from Christian Benteke was enough to separate the sides at the Stadium of Light last night.
Sunderland had looked resolute for the opening 45 minutes, pressing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool hard.
But Benteke’s goal 22 seconds into the second half proved fatal.
“It was very frustrating, especially the way it happened especially so soon into the second half,” added the 21-year-old forward.
“I think the timing of the goal was the worst thing and really frustrating on our part.
“Ultimately, it has led to us losing the game.
“The fans, like they have been all season, have been terrific.
“We need them in times like this when you are losing games and we can bounce off that.
“They were terrific and we know we need to start winning games at home.
“It was a great effort from them and I don’t think there was a nervousness.
“We just wanted to try and get a goal, unfortunately we couldn’t do that.”
The final game of 2015 followed consecutive defeats to Arsenal, Watford, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Sunderland, with a goal difference of minus 19, go into the New Year with the prospect of playing Championship football next season a distinct possibility.
Watmore added: “It is not ideal (five defeats on the trot)and we have had a tricky run of games but that is no excuse.
“We need to start winning games and picking up results.
“We have to stay positive.
“There is no point thinking about past defeats when we have big games coming up.
“We have to pick ourselves up quickly and give the fans something to cheer about.”