IT is a disappointing theme for us now, dominating for long spells and then letting a result slip through our fingers.
We have been slack in some areas and it has cost us, simple as that.
It is clearly a recurring issue that has to be addressed.
Surely a side throwing everything at a real push for the European places should be able to close a game out and see it to the end, rather than let two silly late goals devastate what would have been another three points.
It is in this area that we showed our sheer inexperience – we are not a Chelsea or a Manchester United who can put the game on total lockdown till the end; instead we opt for a path of self-destruction!
Torn apart by simple set-pieces, I can only imagine that Steve Bruce is absolutely fuming, after all this is something that Stoke are well known for and something that I can only hope was run through thoroughly in the build-up to the match. They are a big, physical side, so in and around the box is a danger issue of the most severe importance.
We have learnt the lesson the hard way and now look back on points dropped.
We certainly have to do something about this patchy away record if we are going to carry on with a positive season – it will prove to be the undoing of us otherwise.
We play good football, but we must cut out this slack, relaxed defending we slump into from time to time.
To read the rest of the Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.