Lee Camp admits that back-to-back relegations would be ‘devastating’ for Sunderland.
But the defiant goalkeeper insists that nobody has given up the fight for survival.
Sunderland’s survival hopes look increasingly bleak.
Following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at QPR, the Black Cats have just nine games left and the gap to safety remains four points, with fourth-bottom Barnsley having a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
Sunderland have only won five league games, with the club rooted to the foot of the Championship and in increasing danger of being relegated to the third tier for only the second time in the club’s long and proud history.
Camp said: “It would be a huge blow to have two relegations back-to-back, for any club, whatever the size. It would be devastating.
“But we are not at that position, we are not thinking about that.
“We have to keep going along and do whatever we can to avoid that happening.
“We are trying to win games of football to get some positivity back. If you think about the negatives, it won’t help.
“We have to stay positive to win games of football.
“We won’t win games with our chins on our chest, we have to stick our chests out and be brave and go again.”
“You have to, it is your job. You have a responsibility,” added Camp, when asked if it was difficult for the players to lift themselves after another defeat.
“It is disappointing, no one likes losing. These players are as frustrated as anybody, but we go back to work this week and we start again.
“Nobody will be giving up – we are trying and doing everything possible to get the job done.
“It doesn’t matter what goes on elsewhere, we have to take care of ourselves and control what we can control – that is our performances and winning games.
“It is something that, ultimately, is challenging at the moment, but that is the only focus you can have; winning games to get out of this situation. That is where our focus is.”
Sunderland, who had Jason Steele sent off four minutes into the second half, lost 1-0 at QPR, with Ebere Eze netting the winner.
Camp, who replaced Steele in goal and is set to start against Preston North End this Saturday, said: “Until the sending off, we were very much in the game.
“The game would have opened up and we would have got chances, but going down to 10 men away from home makes it very difficult, especially the way they play, they overloaded us with the man in the hole.
“It is difficult to deal with that with 11 men, never mind 10.
“It’s disappointing to concede and not get a point out of it.
“We won’t dwell on it, we have to pick ourselves up and go again this week.
“We had kept them to limited chances and we were more than in it, with 11 v 11 the game would have opened up and there would have been chances on the counter attack.”