CARLOS CUELLAR admits he has to carry a burden of blame for Sunderland’s 6-1 thrashing at Aston Villa.
But he promises fans no-one could have taken the beating more personally than he did on Monday night, after his most difficult game since joining the red and whites last summer.
Mistakes from the Spanish centre-half led directly to two of Villa’s goals while he was unfortunate to also deflect a third past keeper Simon Mignolet.
But virtually nobody who played for Sunderland that night did themselves justice.
And Cuellar has revealed that after watching the game back again, no-one has been singled out for blame and everyone knows they have to take collective responsibility.
“It was all the more painful for me because it was against my old club and it was my first time back playing at Villa Park,” Cuellar said.
“I wanted to play well, I wanted to win, and I wanted to show everyone how much it meant to me.
“In the first half, I think I did OK but in the second half I don’t know what happened – everything I tried went wrong.
“We went through the video on Tuesday and analysed the mistakes we made.
“But there was no finger-pointing, because it does no good to blame individuals.”
Cuellar ays Sunderland cannot afford to dwell on their nightmare at his old stamping ground.
“We have analysed the mistakes and learned from them, but we have to forget the Villa game now and focus on Stoke,” he said.
“It was an embarrassing scoreline and an embarrassing performance at Villa, but we cannot cry about it all week – there is nothing to be gained from that.
“Of course it is painful to have lost, but those three points have gone – we have to concentrate on getting three points on Monday now.”