Jan Kirchhoff bemoans familiar flaw that cost Sunderland derby victory, but says side were good enough to win

Sunderland let a lead slip but Jan Kirchhoff said the side was good enough to get all three points

Sunderland's Jan Kirchhoff has said the side were good enough to win the Tyne/Wear derby, after they conceded a late equaliser to prevent them from a seventh successive win over Newcastle United.

Jermain Defoe gave the Black Cats the lead before half time with Aleksandar Mitrovic levelling late on in what can be a huge result in the context of both side's season.

Kirchhoff is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: “We were good enough to win this game, but we lost it again in the last 10 minutes.

“We have to work on it and work as a team on our intensity in the last few minutes, to stay focused.

“We have to start getting clean sheets, which is the main thing at the moment.

“Good defending is always a mental thing. You have to be focused because every little situation can count; sometimes when it’s just a throw-in for the opposition or yourselves.

“Yesterday we lost one situation and it was the one real good chance for Newcastle, but they scored.”

Sunderland have kept just the three clean sheets so far this season, and all of them came with Costel Pantilimon - now with Watford - in goal for the Black Cats.

It has been something that has frustrated manager Sam Allardyce quite a lot recently as his side have recently let leads slip against Crystal Palace and Southampton as well as their fierce rivals at the weekend.

A win would have moved Sunderland out of the bottom three, and put daylight between them and Newcastle, but their frailties at the back mean that Norwich's win at West Bromwich Albion was enough to move the Canaries out of the danger zone.

Instead Sunderland are now two points adrift having played a game less than Norwich, and are just the one point ahead of Newcastle on the same games.

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