WES BROWN admits Sunderland are their own worst enemies after a horrifying second-half capitulation at Tottenham edged the Black Cats ever closer to the drop.
Despite taking the lead at White Hart Lane last night, Sunderland suffered their heaviest defeat of the campaign to leave Gus Poyet’s side seven points adrift of Premier League safety with seven games to go.
The 5-1 loss was even more galling after Lee Cattermole’s first ever goal for Sunderland had given the Black Cats a platform to pull off an unlikely victory. But rock-bottom Sunderland again paid the price for self-inflicted errors, with stand-in skipper Brown at fault for the opening two goals.
Mistakes at the back have been costly throughout this season and Brown realises Sunderland somehow need to cut them out if they are to stand any chance of pulling off escape from the jaws of relegation.
Brown, who insists Sunderland cannot give up hope of surviving, told the Echo: “Their player has got behind me for the first and second goals.
“I should be closer and then I just couldn’t get there.
“We can talk all we want to about having to cut out the mistakes, but we have to.
“We have to do better when we’re going forwards too. We’re not helping ourselves.
“We’ve just got to keep going.
“The table doesn’t lie, it’s bad. But we’ve got to keep going. That’s all you can do.
“Of course it’s difficult.
“You can try not to look at how bad it is, but you do.
“Unless we can produce 90 minutes where we’re 100 per cent, we can only blame ourselves.
“We’ve got to show it throughout the game. We have spells of 10 or 15 minutes here or there.”
After Spurs striker Harry Kane got away from Brown to give the hosts the lead early in the second half, Sunderland capitulated as the lack of self-belief in Poyet’s ranks was frighteningly exposed.
Brown said: “Their second goal took everything out of us.
“They started getting a lot of possession on the ball, started making opportunities and their midfield began taking over.
“We started the game very brightly and we just didn’t keep it going.
“It was a good take from Lee after a mistake. He has put it in the back of the net and then we had something to build on.
“But they began to get a lot of possession and by the time half-time came, they were more on top of us by that point.
“We’ve just got to keep going – we’ve got to show a bit of pride in ourselves and keep on grinding it out.”
Meanwhile, Brown was left with a huge swelling under his eye after a second-half collision with lively Spurs striker Kane, although the 34-year-old did not require any stitches to the injury.
“He just ran out at me and we ran into each other, but it’s fine,” he added.