WILL BUCKLEY admits Sunderland need to make amends in style against Arsenal this weekend after their “Sunday League” result at Southampton.
Sunderland’s players are still reeling from their 8-0 mauling at St Mary’s after the Black Cats suffered their heaviest defeat in 32 years.
Gus Poyet’s men face a stern task to bounce back when Arsenal visit the Stadium of Light this Saturday, albeit the injury-hit Gunners face less than 72 hours to recover from their Champions League trip to Anderlecht tomorrow.
But Sunderland winger Buckley knows there needs to be a response to banish the painful memories for both players, staff and supporters on the south coast.
Buckley said: “We need to get over it fast. Nobody is over it yet. But we’re onto Arsenal next week and it doesn’t get any easier.
“We need to pick ourselves up and make sure our performance is 100 times better than it was at Southampton.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that professionally. It’s a horrible feeling, especially for how many fans we brought down.
“It’s gutting for us and we let ourselves down. We need to make it right on Saturday.
“There were a lot of fans still there at the end. If it was other people, I don’t think they’d have been there.
“It’s credit to them and hopefully they can stay behind us and we can put it right next week.
“Those are the kind of results you see in Sunday League, so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“We let the manager down and all the staff who have shown good faith in us.
“We need to make sure we put that right.”
Sunderland had previously boasted the joint second best defensive record in the Premier League after shipping a modest seven goals in their opening seven games.
Buckley (left) struggled to explain why there was such a turnaround in Sunderland’s defensive fortunes on the south coast.
But he believes a succession of costly clangers – making one himself for Southampton’s second goal – sent Sunderland into a spiral that they couldn’t escape from.
“I think it was individual mistakes and every mistake they punished us,” added the £2.5million summer signing.
“We came into the game confident that we could get a result and for the first 10 minutes, it looked like we could do that. After that, we made errors that got punished and I suppose our heads went down.
“The first two goals were poor mistakes from us and it cost us. From then on, we capitulated and it’s not good enough really.
“I don’t agree that we gave up. But everything went wrong and we came up against a team in form.
“They took over the game in the end.”