The Black Cats now sit four points behind second-placed Barnsley - albeit with a game in hand - after their 11th 1-1 draw of the League One season (Sky Sports).
Blackpool, who are closing in on a top-six spot, broke the deadlock on 31 minutes when striker Armand Gnanduillet slotted into the bottom right-hand corner of Jon McLaughlin's net.
Despite 18 shots, seven of which were on target (Sky Sports), Sunderland failed to make their opportunities count until the 75th minute, when Jack Baldwin headed home from Grant Leadbitter's corner.
Will Grigg in particular spurned two gilt-edged opportunities, hitting one straight at the opposition goalkeeper before finding the side-netting despite an open goal after having rounded the stopper.
Sunderland's Twitter account posted a video of Ross's interview after the game at the Stadium of Light:
'In some of our recent performances recently we haven't played well but tonight we did, so if we can carry that into Friday night it increases our chances of getting the win'— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 12, 2019
Watch the manager's post-match interview https://t.co/wPJwjO10Ci#SAFC pic.twitter.com/XJvljhe5eV
Reaction from the fanbase was mixed, with some fans criticising him, others backing him:
I don’t want to be publicly negative about performances, but can somebody tell me at which stage tonight did we play well?— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) February 12, 2019
In Jack Ross We Trust— IX MANNONE⚪⚪ (@KINGMAGUIRE1) February 12, 2019
In Jack Ross we trust, man. Say otherwise and you're a certified Mag.— Cameron Johnson (@Camer0nJohnson) February 12, 2019
I'm 100% behind jack but his reflection of the game worries me. We were rubbish tonight... No flow no urgency no end product.. we seem to have lost that early season momentum. Top 2 is slipping away from us, something needs to change— Scott Marsden (@ScottMarsden90) February 12, 2019
We’re a work in progress. It’ll take time. Stick with the team & manager. Roll on Friday.— Scott Duffy (@ScottDuffman) February 12, 2019
Sorry jack, but we did not play well. Build up play so slow and so many wasted punts forward, not good enough— Lee Cuthbertson (@BlackcatsLee25) February 12, 2019
I’m not having a go here but come on what game was he watching?? That performance was dreadful. Some of the worst passing I’ve seen McGeady needs to understand he isn’t messi— kyle (@kylemurg) February 12, 2019
At what point did we play well ?we made Blackpool look half descent. Our bubble has burst, the honey moon is over, we are back to being rubbish.....— Jackster mcdermont (@Jacquelinemcde2) February 12, 2019
Sunderland return to action on Friday night with another League One home game, this time against Accrington Stanley.