Sunderland striker Darren Bent has apologised to the club's fans for Sunday's humiliating 5-1 Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Newcastle at St James' Park.
Hopes were high that the Black Cats would get one over their North East rivals and end their poor away form with a win over Chris Hughton's charges.
However, nothing went right for the visitors and they trailed 3-0 at half-time thanks to a brace from Kevin Nolan and Shola Ameobi's penalty.
Things went from bad to worse in the second half as Titus Bramble was shown a straight red card, leaving Steve Bruce's troops to see out the match a man light.
Ameobi then added his second of the game and Nolan wrapped up his hat-trick with a close-range header before Bent netted a late consolation.
England international Bent insists the players are sorry for their performance, stating it is important the club's fans know his team-mates are hurting over the heavy defeat.
"We are all sorry about yesterday's result, which was a bad one for everyone concerned," he told the club's official website.
"It's important someone came out and apologised to the fans, who are the people who pay money to watch the games.
"We let a lot of people down. We know the fans are hurting, and believe me, the manager and the players are hurting as badly as you are."
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has also voiced his opinion over the club's disappointing showing, acknowledging that no one is shirking the ramifications that are sure to follow.
The Black Cats tackle Stoke City this weekend on home soil and Quinn believes the squad will be going out with the sole intention of righting the wrongs of their heavy defeat.
"It is entirely appropriate that we apologise to our fans," Quinn added. "Whilst acknowledging the hurt that this defeat has caused, I would like to emphasise that everyone at this club will face the music together.
"Last night the owner and myself sat and reflected on the day's events and we are as defiant as ever that this club is going to make progress.
"While everybody here is suffering, the players' hurt must be galvanised into a big performance on Saturday.
"I'm not asking anyone to have sympathy for us but we are confident that the solution will be found within the walls of our dressing room. We may have to spend a long time apologising but this entire football club knows that it owes its people right now and for me that is the priority."