Wes Brown is optimistic about Sunderland’s future because, despite what results might suggest, they are playing well.
Since their 3-0 victory at Newcastle United on the first day of February, the Black Cats’ record is played six, lost four, won one.
After the only draw in that sequence, a 0-0 at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, Brown was disappointed - but not without hope.
The defender said: “I wouldn’t say the bubble has burst.
“If we’d played badly maybe you could agree with the people who say that. but we played well enough to win this game. We just didn’t manage it. On another day, our chances would have gone in and it would be a different story.
“We have to keep our heads up and keep our confidence and the same attitude. It’s a big positive we are keeping clean sheets now. If you do that you don’t lose the game.
“That’s one of the main things the gaffer said before the game. We managed to do that.
“We still need to win games. Norwich (their next opponents, on Saturday) is another game we know we can win.
“The number of games left are coming down thick and fast (to 11) and we need to start putting points on the board.”
Brown added: “Saturday was an opportunity lost. We put a lot of pressure on to them.
“Maybe we just missed that finishing touch. We played well enough to win the game. We had two good chances and they had a great one at the end.
“Overall it was a good all-round performance. We are disappointed in the sense that we played well.
“We should have taken the three points but if we can keep that level of performance going now and keep the same attitude for next week, we still have a good chance. The confidence is still there and we are not going to let ourselves to let our heads to go down.
“The win was there to be taking, it was one we wanted to win because they were a team on similar points.
“If we’d have won we would have gone ahead of them. It is still tight down there but we didn’t play well enough to win the game.
“You can’t just say it is down to the strikers or even the midfielders we are not winning these games - we all have to chip in.”