Gutted Jack Rodwell said the Sunderland players were left floored by the last-gasp hammer blow at West Ham United.
And he says the lack of concentration at key moments must be eradicated from their game after their seventh defeat in nine games on Saturday.
Winston Reid scored the winner with effectively the last kick of the match at the London Stadium, the West Ham defender unmarked on the edge of the area from a Hammers corner.
He had time to pick his spot, firing low past Jordan Pickford into the corner of the net in the fourth minute of added-on time. The goal stood despite strong Sunderland calls for offside.
It was another crushing late defeat for Sunderland, who are now five points adrift of safety. Rodwell said; “It was the last kick of the game basically, a lack of concentration on the set piece.
“It was a horrible way to end the game, because I thought we worked hard, deserved a point.
“There was a sense it was offside, but no excuses because we let him free on the edge of the box. For the first 25 minutes, they could have gone a couple of goals up, but I felt we settled into it and played a bit ourselves.
“We came in at half-time thinking we were in the game, we had a couple of chances early doors in the second half and didn’t take them.
“Last kick of the game has killed us.
“We will have to pick ourselves up. It is hard, we are all devastated.
“There are loads of games left, we have to try to stay positive, but it was such a cruel way to end the game. It feels like everything is going against us at the moment.
“Even little bits of luck aren’t even going our way.
“I will have to watch it again, but I think there was a few of them stood offside, Jordan Pickford couldn’t see anything.
“There’s no excuses, there’s plenty of football left and it’s not easy but we have to do it.”
Rodwell said the winning goal had nothing to do with a lack of ability on Sunderland’s part, it was purely down to too many players switching off.
The 25-year-old added: “The goal was nothing to do with ability, it was purely concentration.
“It was switching off, free on the edge, a shot at goal and it is inevitable in the Premier League. If you do that then it is going to happen.
“Not every goal has been like that, but a lot of them.
“Many of them have been down to lapses in concentration.”