Sam Allardyce has demanded his struggling Sunderland side control their emotions and cut out the ‘silly mistakes’ - if they are to avoid the drop.
Yann M’Vila’s moment of madness in conceding Southampton’s match-winning penalty saw the Black Cats head into the two-week international break 19th in the Premier League.
Yann just didn’t need to do it.
Just six points from their opening dozen fixtures leaves Sunderland in a perilous position.
“We can’t seem to get it out of our make-up of making a silly mistake at some stage of the game,” a frustrated Allardyce said.
Ronald Koeman’s Saints side had been kept at bay until M’Vila needlessly fouled Ryan Bertrand, handing the visitors three points on a plate.
The error of judgement by the French international, arguably Sunderland’s player of the season so far, left Allardyce floored.
And he has called on his squad to cut out the errors if they are to survive relegation to the Championship.
M’Vila had been one of Sunderland’s brighter players at the Stadium of Light too, until he undid all his good work with the 69th minute foul.
“Yann just didn’t need to do it,” Allardyce added.
“He’d covered the ground and covered in behind Fabio [Borini], who’d let his full-back run.
“He just had to take him out the box, he didn’t have to go to ground.
“These things happen. Perhaps when you’re a bit frustrated, I don’t know.
“But he’s certainly one of our best players.
“I’ve been very impressed with him since I’ve been here and again on Saturday.
“It was just a shame he didn’t control his emotions there.
“We can’t seem to get it out of our make-up of making a silly mistake at some stage of the game.”
Allardyce didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the club’s third home league defeat of the campaign, labelling the club’s survival hopes as a “mammoth task,” with a third of the season almost gone.
Defensively Sunderland’s back four impressed against high-flying Saints but Allardyce’s side offered little in the final third.
“It cost us, which was a great shame,” he said.