Lee Cattermole urges Sunderland to show pride in relegation fight
Sunderland's Lee Cattermole admits their survival chances appear bleak but vowed the Black Cats will fight on.
Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Leicester left them bottom of the Premier League and eight points from safety with eight games left.
Islam Slimani and Jamie Vardy's second-half goals compounded a difficult few days for Sunderland boss David Moyes.
He had been criticised when footage emerged over the weekend of him suggesting a BBC reporter might get a slap following a post-match interview last month.
The Black Cats host Manchester United on Sunday and Cattermole said they must keep believing they can stay up.
"It looks very tough but you don't become a footballer by shying away from things," said the midfielder after Sunderland's 20th league defeat in 30 games this term.
"Everyone has that drive, we need to look forward to Sunday, get ourselves going and show how much we care about the position we're in.
"We've got another game on Sunday, we have to show some pride, stand up and find out what we're all about.
"We can't make any excuses, I thought we were bang at it and we played well at the champions. We felt we were the better team but we're walking away with nothing."
The 29-year-old made his first start since September following a hip problem after previously playing just three games this season.
He added to the club's official site: "I felt fine, I've felt great in the last couple of weeks. It's tough coming back in the position we're in but I'll rise to it and give my best."
Victory was Leicester's fifth successive league win, a sixth in all competitions, and the Foxes are 10th in the table.
Boss Craig Shakespeare has won every game since replacing Claudio Ranieri in February and they are nine points clear of the relegation zone ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final at Atletico Madrid.
Danny Drinkwater told the club's official site: "I think that's where we deserve to be. If you look at the last two months, how we've risen, it's a big compliment to the squad, to the staff. It's where we belong and we'll keep pushing on.
"April is a busy month, we've got the Champions League as well which is exciting, but we'll keep going and hopefully we'll keep picking up the points like we do."