Lee Cattermole scored his third of the season in the 1-1 draw at the Ricoh Arena but it wasn't enough as Jonson Clarke-Harris denied the Black Cats three points on the road.
Here's what we learned from the 1-1 draw with Coventry City.
Sunderland need a win Tuesday.
In the end, with Sunderland suffering three injuries and having to rely on Jon McLaughlin at the other end, the Black Cats were fortunate to come away with a point.
A point away from home is always welcome but Sunderland need a win on home soil Tuesday when Peterborough visit.
Sunderland are fourth, four points behind second-place Peterborough and five behind league leaders Portsmouth.
Sunderland are targeting promotion this season and with 10 games now gone, they can't allow that gap to the automatic spots to grow in a competitive division.
Good and bad day for Lee Cattermole.
At the ripe old age of 30, Cattermole is enjoying his best ever season in front of goal.
The clocks haven't even gone back yet and the goalscoring maestro already has three goals to his name.
Sadly, he also picked up his fifth booking of the campaign at Coventry resulting in a one-game ban.
Bad news for Sunderland ahead of their biggest game of the season against Peterborough United.
His loss will be keenly felt.
Just when Sunderland's injury problems were easing...
News pre-match that Duncan Watmore had stepped up his training was welcomed as Sunderland's injury problems appeared to finally be easing.
Charlie Wyke is out until Christmas but aside from him, Watmore and Donald Love, Sunderland were nursing a relatively healthy squad.
And then fate struck. Glenn Loovens and Denver Hume taken off injured before half-time, while Lynden Gooch suffered a hamstring injury.
Gooch finished the game but Ross will be sweating over the trio, with the two defenders the biggest cause for concern.
Strong bench but Ross can't fully utilise it
Jack Ross named an unchanged starting line-up for only the second time, with Max Power, Jerome Sinclair and Aiden McGeady having to make do with a place on the bench.
Good options to bring on as the game wore on, with Bryan Oviedo also among the subs.
Yet within four minutes, Glenn Loovens was forced off and with just 37 minutes on the clock Denver Hume followed him down the tunnel.
Ross forced into two defensive substitutions which limited his options later.
Sunderland needed fresh attacking legs in the final third as the game wore on but Ross was powerless to provide the fresh ammo from the bench.
Max Power makes a welcome return.
With Dylan McGeouch yet to find his feet in the third tier following a spell out injured, it was a welcome sight to see Power return from his three game ban - four with the Checkatrade Trophy.
Power brings nous to the centre of Sunderland's midfield, alongside the evergreen Cattermole, who continues to impress.
Power has a wealth of experience at this level and while Cattermole's one-game ban against Posh is a blow, the return of the former Wigan midfielder is a big cushion to soften it.
Box-to-box, he always looks a threat. Understandably rusty on his return but Sunderland will be far better with him back.
Sunderland fans prove their class. Again.
The attendance at the Ricoh Arena was 16,407 with a third of the crowd made up of Sunderland fans.
Around 5,000 supporters made the trip to Coventry. Remarkable support, especially when put into context.
This was a lunchtime kick-off, for a third-tier game being screened live on television.
There are very few teams in the country - or indeed across Europe - that could count on that level of support.