Jack Ross was left frustrated as Sunderland missed the chance to go top of League One - but he had praise for the character shown by his squad.
Sunderland were well below par at the Stadium of Light, it was arguably the worst performance of the season and they fell behind to winger Fred Onyedinma's 67th minute close range finish.
Sub Josh Maja rescued a point for Sunderland six minutes from time, drilling home from inside the penalty area to maintain Sunderland's unbeaten league run on home form.
With Portsmouth not playing due to international call-ups, Sunderland could have gone top with a ninth straight win but they remain second in League One, two points behind Pompey.
Extending the winning run wasn't to be, Sunderland having to settle for a point.
Ross said: "There is an element of frustration for us, there was obviously that incentive for us today, that tangible reward and where a win would take you.
"In terms of the how the game panned out, frustration with little bits of the performance but on the flip side, I don't think you can ask a group of players to show more willingness and desire to try and get something from the game.
"There are times when it doesn't always happen in the manner you would like but the response to adversity - as it has been all season - was very good.
"Naturally, we want to win every game we play here. I have never hidden away from that.
"You temper that with the way the game pans out, going a goal behind and still being a goal behind heading into the last 15 minutes.
"We take satisfaction from the fact we came from a goal behind but frustrated we didn't continue the winning run, particularly in this stadium."
It showed the strength of Sunderland's options from the bench too with Ross able to bring on Maja, Max Power and Bryan Oviedo in the second half.
Ross added: "I have said it often enough, I do get a bit fed up of people saying we have a good squad, there have been good squads here before.
"You have to have a good squad that wants to take part in the game, either starting or from the bench.
"Each and every player to their credit, whether they start or come off, has made a contribution.
"Max, Josh, Bryan too when he came on. As a whole squad they have recognised that and deserve credit for that."