Sam Allardyce was left “dumbfounded” after Sunderland spurned several fine late opportunities and lost 1-0 at home to Watford in the Premier League.
The visitors started the contest well and took the lead after just four minutes, as Odion Ighalo got in front of Sebastian Coates to direct Allan Nyom’s low cross past Costel Pantilimon.
But Sunderland were a threat after the interval and Jermain Defoe saw two glorious chances fall to him in the last 10 minutes, but he failed to find the net and Allardyce was left frustrated by his side’s inability to prevent a defeat.
“It was just the beginning of the game that was the poor bit but, because of that, we lost a game we shouldn’t have done,” he said.
“Some of the chances we created and missed in the second half were a big problem for us.
“I look at the chances in the last 15 or 20 minutes and I am a little bit dumbfounded why we haven’t at least got one point on the board.
“If we had won it would have made such a huge difference, but now we are back in the pressure pot which is really disappointing with the games we have coming up.”
Allardyce made a tactical switch after just 19 minutes, withdrawing DeAndre Yedlin and replacing him with Jack Rodwell.
And the manager insisted it was something he had to do, before then ruing some comments he made recently about having enough goals in his team.
He added: “We had to change the system after 20 minutes or so because it wasn’t working, because players weren’t playing to their best.
“When I opened my big mouth a couple of weeks ago and said I had enough goals, I think I should have kept it shut.”