• 'We're playing good football but not getting the points'
• Sunderland have not won in Premier League since 1 February
Wes Brown, the Sunderland defender, has said the team will keep fighting against relegation but need to start putting away their chances.
Following Monday's 2-1 home defeat by West Ham, the manager Gus Poyet said he would quit were his players to "give up", but Brown insists they have no intention of doing so.
"We just can't put our chances in the back of the net at the moment," said the former England and Manchester United centre-half. "We're playing good football but it doesn't count if you're not getting the points. But you can't give up, all we can do is stick at it. We've just got to keep going and keeping battling on. If anything, we have to give even more."
Sunderland are second bottom, four points adrift of safety, but they have games in hand on their relegation rivals. Many of their eight remaining fixtures – including Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United away as well as Everton at home – look daunting. Brown prefers to regard such matches as opportunities. "We just need to keep going," he said. "Staying in this league is all about winning games and getting points and that's what we've got to do."
Sunderland have not won a Premier League game since their victory at Newcastle on 1 February. The last league triumph at the Stadium of Light came three days earlier against Stoke and, understandably frustrated, the home fans booed Poyet's players on Monday.
"It helps when they're cheering and getting behind us like they did in the second half against West Ham, when we were pushing on," said Brown, who defended his manager's recent switch to a back five. "But it's edgy times at the minute so you can understand the disappointment.
"When you've played well and lost it's still rubbish. You get in the changing room and it's the same feeling as any loss. All right, we've played well, but we all know that we need wins and we need points."
Brown would not be drawn on whether reverting to a back four might help. "Apart from the two set-pieces where West Ham's goals came from, I thought we managed pretty well," he said. "I don't think there were too many shots on target from them and I thought, if anything, we created more.
"We had a couple of training sessions practising five at the back before we went to Liverpool last week and we all sort of knew what we were doing. It can get better with time."
Poyet's problem is that time is running out, fast.