HEAD coach Gus Poyet took no consolation from the gutsy nature of Sunderland’s weekend defeat to Champions League chasing Everton.
His side could easily have won the game and were desperately unlucky to lose it through Wes Brown’s own goal, 15 minutes from time.
But, as Poyet pondered Sunderland’s fifth consecutive defeat, he sensed a deeper malaise than simple misfortune.
“If I met someone who had not seen Sunderland play at all this season, I would show him a video of this game and say that this is the story of our season,” he sighed.
“It’s the story of our season because of this: something always happens; and it usually seems to happen against us.
“If it’s not a red card, it’s an own goal, if it’s not an own goal, it’s a deflection.
“I’m not saying that as an excuse – I don’t believe in luck.
“But it is the way of football that when you are at the top things to go for you and at the bottom it seems to go against you.
“Defeats hurt and this one hurts, because it doesn’t matter what we do, something always happens.
“So what’s going to go wrong on Wednesday against Manchester City or at the weekend against Chelsea?
“You tell me, because no matter how well we plan or prepare or train, there’s always something that seems to go wrong.”
Poyet was seeming to suggest that Sunderland’s squad is simply not good enough to sustain any sort of charge for the course of a full 90 minutes.
But Brown’s own goal aside, there was little to choose between the two sides and the game could easily have gone either way – something Poyet was prepared to acknowledge.
“We properly competed against one of the in-form teams in the division,” he said.
“We were very tight and we shared the game with Everton – passing, shooting, opportunities.
“That was good, but we lost the game and we are running out of games.
“We need to change that quickly, but our next two games are going to be difficult because of the quality of the opposition, so we’ll see
“Against Everton, we competed, we were very close to one of the top teams in the league, but it was not enough.”