Bullish Fabio Borini is adamant relegation-favourites Sunderland are far from finished.
The 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the Stadium of Light left the Black Cats four points adrift of safety ahead of their next match away to in-form Crystal Palace.
Every little point we can grab home or away, against big or small teams is good.Fabio Borini
But Borini insists the squad isn’t even thinking about the increasing points gap, given the club has been in worse positions in the past.
And the Italian says Sam Allardyce’s men will fight for every point going as they look to stay in the Premier League ahead of next season’s bumper television deal.
Relegation to the Championship would be catastrophic but Borini says the focus of the squad is on improving and picking up points as quickly as possible.
Borini said: “Every little point we can grab home or away, against big or small teams is good.
“The points gap doesn’t play on our mind – we have been in worse situations.
“(Bournemouth’s defeat) keeps everything tight and it is far from finished.”
Sunderland are 19th, with Aston Villa propping up the Barclays Premier League table.
But the Villains have been boosted by the appointment of Remi Garde and they picked up a credible point after their goalless draw with league leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
Bournemouth occupy the final relegation spot, third from bottom and two points from fourth placed Newcastle.
Steve McClaren’s side picked up three points with the Rob Elliot-inspired 1-0 win over the Cherries on the south coast at the weekend.
Ex-Chelsea and Liverpool striker Borini believes Newcastle’s win was bad news for Sunderland but said at least it meant Eddie Howe’s side didn’t move further away from the Black Cats.
He added: “The Newcastle result wasn’t good for us but it at least makes it tighter.
“If Bournemouth had won, we would have needed more points to catch them up.”
Allardyce has several of his first team squad away on international duty during the two week break before the trip to Selhurst Park to face Alan Pardew’s side, who are chasing a Europa League spot. Sunderland could find themselves seven points from safety by the time they kick-off a week on Monday night.