JACK Colback says Sunderland can only judge the merits of a point against Fulham after the forthcoming encounters against QPR and Norwich.
Sunderland ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats on Saturday when they fought back from a two-goal deficit to record a 2-2 draw with the Cottagers.
But the visit of a Fulham side, who had managed just three goals from their previous six top flight outings on the road, had created an expectation both in the dressing room, and on the terraces, that Sunderland could record the victory which would edge them even closer to survival.
Although Sunderland have extended the margin with the bottom three to six points, makeshift left-back Colback admits the Black Cats won’t know if Saturday was a missed opportunity until they have faced basement boys QPR next weekend and 13th placed Norwich City a week later.
Colback said: “At the start of the game, you’d say it was two points dropped, but in the circumstances after going two down in the opening half-hour, you’d take a point certainly.
“You want to stop a run of three defeats as quickly as possible. We were hoping for the win, but as it turns out, we’ll take the point.
“Obviously, we’ll be looking to go to QPR and win, and if we do that, and beat Norwich, then it looks like a good point against Fulham.
“That’s all we can do.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win on Saturday – we were expecting to.
“But we can take some confidence into QPR, and hopefully win there.”
Sunderland felt they should have had an opportunity to win the game from the penalty spot after Stephane Sessegnon’s leveller with 20 minutes to go prompted a dominant late spell from the hosts.
During that finale, Fulham defender Philippe Senderos, who had earlier conceded the penalty which brought Sunderland back into the game, appeared to handle the ball six yards out.
But referee Mark Halsey, who had earlier gifted Fulham a penalty for a theatrical fall from Ashkan Dejagah and then levelled things with a soft spot-kick for Sunderland, waved the appeals away.
“The first one looked a strange penalty decision,” said Colback.
“It looked as if he wasn’t going to give it and book the lad for diving, but then he gave the pen which was strange.
“Then he gave us a pen and missed another one for us, which I think was even clearer.
“We’ve had a good look back at the handball and it looks a stonewaller, but I suppose you’ll be lucky to get two penalties in one game.”
The 23-year-old added: “When we got back to 2-2, the confidence grew in the side and we looked the team that were going to win it.
“Unfortunately it didn’t happen.
“We couldn’t quite get the clear-cut chance like we got here against Arsenal, which was disappointing.
“But after going two-down, we’d have taken a point.”