Liam Bridcutt has admitted Sunderland are making an unfortunate habit of not picking up the points they should, but insists it will not affect their confidence with the odds stacked against them on Wednesday.
While the Black Cats were producing what Bridcutt described as their worst performance since he joined in January, Liverpool were scoring six at Cardiff City.
A Wednesday game at Anfield might not be the most enticing prospect, but Bridcutt believes it will do Sunderland good. He insisted: “Nah, it’s not daunting.
“We all know they’re a top team and we know if we’re on our game we can do well.
“We’re going to take it as another game, we know it’s going to be a big match– they’re fighting for the title and we’re fighting to avoid relegation. It’s going to be a good one.
“When you have a performance like Saturday’s you dwell on it for a day or two and then you have to put that to bed, work hard in training and put it right on Wednesday.”
No one was pretending Sunderland’s first-half performance in the 2-0 defeat to Norwich City was anything other than dismal.
Although Gustavo Poyet made the unusual move of a double tactical substitution in the opening 45 minutes, Bridcutt said the coach was restrained in his half-time criticism.
“It was very poor from us,” acknowledged the midfielder, who worked with Poyet at Brighton and Hove Albion. “That was probably one of the worst performances since I’ve been here. We just weren’t at it.
“We’ve had good performances against some of the top teams and when we should get points we’re not really doing it. That needs fixing and the manager knows that.
“He (Poyet) just told us what we all knew at half time, that we weren’t at it.
“It was just the usual from Gus. He was more disappointed in the way we played so he said a few things to get us going.”
Sunderland emerged five minutes early for the second half and were given individual talking-tos from John O’Shea, but Bridcutt says that was nothing to do with the coach.
He added: “As a group we all took it upon ourselves.
“There wasn’t much Gus had to say to us because we knew. We went back and tried to put it right.
“John is our skipper so if there are things to be said he will say them.”