Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce bemoaned his side’s inability to keep a clean sheet as an injury-time goal from Virgil van Dijk handed Southampton a last-gasp draw at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
The Wearsiders appeared on course for their third away win of the season when substitute Jermain Defoe put them ahead with five minutes to go against a home side reduced to 10 men following the 79th-minute dismissal of Jose Fonte.
But Van Dijk popped up in the 93rd minute to convert Dusan Tadic’s centre and hand Ronald Koeman’s men a deserved share of the spoils.
Allardyce, whose side are now a point clear of the bottom three, told BBC Five Live: “The dejection amongst us all is clear. It was so important to see this game out. We know how important three points would have been.
“If we’d have got the win today, we’d have had a gap for next weekend when we’re not playing. We dropped a massive clanger in those last few seconds. With the amount of people we had in that box, it’s baffling. We didn’t have the composure to keep the ball, play out and see the game out properly. We paid a very heavy price.
“It’s concentration, making the right decisions when you’re tired, being brave enough to cut the danger out and not leaving it someone else.
“I’m delighted with the chances we made, other than we could have finished them better. Then again, one goal isn’t enough for us. We can’t find a clean sheet – we have a bogey hanging over us.
“I’ve seen for a long time that we have enough to stay up, we aren’t getting the results.”
Defoe was “devastated” at Sunderland’s failure to hang on to the win.
The former England striker said: “We should have won the game. When you concede a goal late on after you’ve worked so hard to get in front, it’s disappointing.
“It’s a difficult place to come. You have to hang on, be professional. Sometimes you have to go long and we didn’t do that. It would have been a massive three points, so we’re devastated.
“We didn’t lose and we got a point. The manager always says that if you can’t win, you shouldn’t lose. We’ve got a long break until our next game, but we’d like them to come thick and fast. We have to stay positive.”
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