Dick Advocaat looked back with regret on two quick goals either side of half time as Sunderland were defeated by Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The visitors looked set to get into the dressing room at the break on level terms only for Memphis Depay to fire the Red Devils in front deep into first-half stoppage time.
Things quickly worsened when Wayne Rooney added another within 40 seconds of the restart and Juan Mata completed the scoring in stoppage time at the end of the game.
Advocaat felt Sunderland acquitted themselves well against Louis van Gaal’s men but admitted the opening goal had come as a hammer blow, given the timing.
“The first half we did well, organisation wise, but the problem was they scored one minute before half-time and one minute after half-time,” said the Sunderland manager.
“United were the better side but they didn’t create a lot of chances.
It’s a shame we gave that goal away in the first half because it made things different in the second half.”
Sunderland are now on a ten-game run without a Premier League victory and they are alone at the foot of the table after North East rivals Newcastle picked up a point against champions Chelsea.
Having kept three consecutive clean sheets in May as Advocaat kept them in top flight, the Black Cats have conceded in each of their past eight Premier League matches.
They now face games against West Ham and West Brom before they taking on arch rivals and fellow strugglers Newcastle on October 25 at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are priced at 3.10 to win their next match against West Ham. The Hammers are the 2.30 favourites while the draw is at 3.20.