Sunderland’s Twitter-based faithful were far from pleased on Tuesday night after seeing their side fall to a 2-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers.
QPR took the lead in the 17th-minute when Leroy Fer met Matty Phillips' cross to head past Costel Pantillimon, before Bobby Zamora doubled their lead just before the break to seal the visitors their first away win of the season.
Sunderland, who have won one of their past eight Premier League games, now sit just two points above the relegation zone, and manager Gus Poyet admits they remain in a battle to avoid the drop.
“It was not a great start. Everything was planned to start very fast, but we didn't find a way to do the right things,” he told the BBC after the match.
"We went forward and we had crosses and we had chances and we had penalty appeals. The boys tried everything possible, but what we had done in the first 20 minutes was just too expensive and we paid the price. Rob Green had a fantastic game.
"It doesn't change my thoughts [about the relegation battle]. Anyone who thinks they are safe because they have 30 points already is very wrong."
There was nevertheless one key positive Sunderland could take from the match in the performance of Ricky Alvarez, who came on at half-time to deliver another impressive showing.
Replacing Jordi Gomez, the Argentine playmaker injected some much-needed pace and urgency into the side to leave fans wondering why he has not been starting on a more regular basis.
The Inter Milan loanee has made just three starts in 10 top-flight games since arriving at the Stadium of Light in the summer but, after another solid showing to follow last week’s man of the match display in the FA Cup win over Fulham, the general sentiment seems to be that Poyet needs to give him an extended run in the line-up.
Don't get it, Alvarez beginning to pick up form so why not start him - what are we potentially paying a lot of money this summer for? #Safc— Kristian Wall (@kristianwall92) February 10, 2015
If Ricky Alvarez doesn't start every game he's fit between now and May... I just don't even know. Fantastic tonight. #SAFC— Michael Potts (@potts93) February 10, 2015
He should have had the balls to sub gomez when he got alvarez ready on 30 odd mins!! #safc— Simon Burton (@AboardTheGusBus) February 10, 2015
Absolutely embarrassing, PVA was shocking Gomez awful, needs to start Alvarez, like I said, he was the one who could make a difference #safc— Dan Kelly (@Dankelly94) February 10, 2015
I'm still against Poyet. Probably the worst thing I've ever watched, that game. And leaving Alvarez on the bench? Sort it out #safc— michael fitzsimons (@icandoessound) February 10, 2015
How Alvarez doesn't start over Jordi Gomez is beyond me! #safc— Jordan Roberts (@JRobSAFC) February 10, 2015
Ouch that was bad. Green had a bloody stormer though. Gus got it massively wrong not starting Alvarez. #SAFC— Jim Holmes (@Jim_Holmes_101) February 10, 2015
We really should play Alvarez from the start, every game #safc— Stephen Milnes (@StephenMilnes) February 10, 2015
Regardless of the end result, Sunderland look a far better team with Alvarez in the side #SAFC— Jack Farrell (@JackWFarrell) February 10, 2015
Álvarez-The only light in the tunnel right now #SAFC— Philip Thyberg (@ThybergPhilip) February 10, 2015