It’s time to start a new unbeaten run.
That was the defiant message of Sunderland midfielder Max Power ahead of a critical run of games for the League One promotion challengers.
Sunderland lost for the first time in nine games on Saturday when they were beaten 2-0 by Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Phil Parkinson’s side were well beaten on the south coast by a fellow promotion rival, but Power, who has captained the side of late, was in a defiant mood as he insisted their heads would not drop after the set-back.
Power said: “I’m at an age now where you realise you can’t get too high after wins and can’t get too low after defeats. We’re all disappointed today and it would have been a great day to come here and get the result. It was not to be.
“We have to take on the chin. There’s not much we can do now put it behind us after analysing where we’ve gone wrong today. Second half we were a long way off the pace of where we have been. We’ve set our standards really high of late.
It’s a good chance there now with no midweek game to rest up and we’ve got a huge game next Saturday.
“The unbeaten run comes to an end, but it’s time to start a new one.”
Sunderland certainly can’t afford to wallow in any self-pity over the Portsmouth defeat.
If their promotion challenge is to stay on the tracks then February could very well be a critical month for them.
Starting with Ipswich at home on Saturday, they also have to visit Oxford and Coventry City among other games in February.
Looking ahead, Power continued: “There’s no hiding the fact. It’s a big month and it’s coming into the business end - that business part of the season now.
“Once you get out of January and the [transfer] window shuts, you’ve got what you’ve got now - this is our squad, this is what we’ve got to go with.
“We get back to the training ground this week after a bit of a baptism of fire for Antoine [Semenyo] coming on today. We’ll get back up the road and go again.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, get back up the road, and have a good week of training now. It’s a good chance to integrate the new boys into the squad and get some more work on the training ground and go again.”