STEPHANE Sessegnon insists the first defeat of the Martin O’Neill era will not derail Sunderland’s rescue mission.
Sunderland were unable to build on a winning start to O’Neill’s reign at Spurs on Sunday, seven days after a dramatic victory over Blackburn handed the ex-Celtic boss the perfect start to his Black Cats tenure.
O’Neill still faces an uphill battle to give Sunderland some breathing space with the drop zone after Wigan’s weekend draw with Chelsea left the Wearsiders just a point clear of danger.
But Sessegnon believes there were sufficient positives from the loss at White Hart Lane to ensure the momentum under O’Neill’s first win continues into a crunch clash with fellow strugglers QPR tomorrow.
Sessegnon said: “The victory against Blackburn gave us a big confidence boost.
“Even though we didn’t get anything at Spurs, I don’t think it will necessarily affect us.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game and the way we played and the way we didn’t give up, shows the players believe in themselves.
“We still showed a lot of courage and determination to avoid defeat against a very strong team.
“But we need to take some points as soon as possible.
“It’s not the first time this season that we’ve been left ruing a bit of luck.
“We have the ability to improve and get up the table, but that’s easier said than done.”
Sessegnon felt it was an all-too familiar tale at White Hart Lane of Sunderland failing to profit from their opportunities and then making one costly slip at the other end.
“We were a bit unlucky because we were facing a side at the top of the league and we had the chances to get something from the game,” added the 27-year-old.
“For a long time when it was 0-0, we looked comfortable and they didn’t threaten us too much.
“But the match was decided by us giving the ball away too easily which you can’t do against a quality team like that.
“If you give them time and space on the ball, they will punish you. It’s as simple as that.
“In the first half, we had several opportunities to take the lead, but we couldn’t take them.
“That would have made it a lot easier for us, but we’ve said that a lot this season.
“Before the goal, there wasn’t that much danger.
“Spurs had a lot of the ball, but they weren’t particularly dangerous and our defence was solid.
“But a mistake presented them with the goal and then you saw the difference. You saw a team who were able to keep possession and try different things to make the win more emphatic.”