George Honeyman has described the late heartache against Norwich City as a “sickening blow” after watching Sunderland concede from yet another set piece.
He has urged his teammates to take more responsibility and learn quickly after dropping more points.
The 23-year-old scored his seventh of the season to give Sunderland a narrow lead and within touching distance of a victory that would have left them four points from safety.
Yet Sunderland conceded an 89th minute equaliser, Ivo Pinto sweeping home from a free-kick to leave the home side floored.
Sunderland are on the brink of relegation to League One with the point leaving them six adrift with only four games remaining.
“That was a really sickening blow at the end,” reflected an emotional Honeyman.
“It was an open game but we put in a great shift and when you are that close to wining, in that position, we have got to learn and learn quick.
“How many set pieces are we going to concede from this season?
“We need to take responsibility and show that we want to win.
“We need to show a bit of grit and see out games, obviously we are lacking that at the minute.”
Sunderland’s form has picked up but it is proving too little, too late, having dropped points against Leeds and Norwich.
Honeyman told the club website: “Last four games, we should have won every game. We have taken five points and that is not enough at this stage of the season.
“And that is only down to us, we can’t blame anyone else.
“If it was any other stage of the season there would be so many positives to take but all I care about is taking the three points.
“Everyone else lost on Tuesday night, it is good in reality but it makes it even more bitter because you are thinking it is another opportunity missed.
“We have to dust ourselves down again and look to get the three points on Saturday but there is only so many times you can start saying it before it is too late.”