Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admitted his side's home defeat against Aston Villa was 'tough to take' as Gabriel Agbonlahor fired the visitors to victory.
The striker netted from close range 12 minutes after the break to claim just a second league victory of the season for Villa, while the Black Cats mustered only a single notable effort on target, and that six minutes from time.
O'Neill's men have now won just one of their last 17 league games but he is confident that a break will eventually come.
He told Sky Sports: "It was particularly difficult really. We threw everything at them today unable to break them down and unable to score a goal.
"We had so many balls in the area, you could hardly have counted all the chances, but you just need a break and I believe it will come.
"It's been a difficult time and we have got to see it through, but the players are capable of doing that."
When asked if he believes he has a few players who are not quite at their peak, the Northern Irishman replied: "I believe that's true. I think our creative players at this moment for one reason or another need a little bit of confidence. Things will turn and they will turn well for us.
"Overall the effort was fantastic and so was our captain Lee Cattermole."