Simon Grayson remains adamant that he and the players can turn the season around.
Sunderland’s dismal form, especially at the Stadium of Light, continued with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bristol City, leaving Sunderland second-bottom ahead of the crunch game against basement side Bolton.
Pressure is inevitably mounting on Grayson, with just one win in 14 Championship games. The winless home streak stretched to 18 games, though Grayson has only been responsible for seven of those.
When asked whether he fears SAFC chiefs may be forced into a change of manager if this dismal form continues, Grayson said: “Look, who knows? I have been in positions where I have not won football matches and come through the other side of it.
“What I will do is continue to work as hard as I can, be in in the morning and do the work we were always going to do and do it to the best of our ability.
“Hopefully somewhere down the line we will get a couple of results and it changes quickly.
“Anything other people decide to do in football, and I have been in management for 12 years with 600-odd games under my belt and I know what football is all about and what can happen if you win games and lose games.”
Sunderland started brightly, but Bobby Reid headed the visitors into the lead from Callum O’Dowda’s corner, with Sunderland’s defending from set pieces again left wanting.
Lewis Grabban levelled for the Black Cats with a scrambled close-range finish in first-half stoppage time before sub Milan Djuric’s header won it for City.
Asked if Grayson and the Sunderland players can turn it around, he said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, but we have to do the basics right, win your individual battles, do what you are asked to do and stick to the game plan.
“Don’t blame other people. If you have a job, then stick to it and that will help us win the game.
“It was the strongest squad I have had available, but we still didn’t look very confident. You look at Bristol City playing with a spring in their step. A result or two will change everything.”