Connor Wickham believes Sunderland were unlucky to draw with Manchester City after his two goals gave Gus Poyet's side the lead at the Etihad Stadium.
City took a second-minute lead through Fernandinho but the Black Cats produced a spirited comeback as they wrestled their way back into the game.
John O'Shea and Fabio Borini spurned chances on goal in the first half, before Wickham struck twice in 10 minutes to give Sunderland the lead.
The 21-year-old turned home Emanuele Giaccherini's cross, before beating Joe Hart at his near post as he trebled his Premier League goal tally in one night.
However, when Samir Nasri's shot was pushed into his own net by Vito Mannone, Wickham admits Sunderland were left deflated.
"We created chances in the game against such a good team," he told Sky Sports.
"To concede early wasn't ideal but we pulled ourselves back and I do think we were unlucky to not take three points."
Sunderland arrived at the Etihad Stadium as underdogs but Wickham hailed their fighting spirit after conceding early on.
"It's one of the most difficult places to come in the Premiership against such a good team," he added.
"We conceded early but pulled ourselves back into the match and then to see the ball roll into the back of the net was agonising.
"The boys are feeling it inside but we can take positives from today and take it into Saturday."
Wickham's second came from a fine break from Fabio Borini and, after running the length of the field, the Sunderland striker was relieved to receive the pass from his team-mate.
"I was just hoping he passed me the ball," he joked.
"When he did I just had one thing on my mind, to take a touch and shoot and thankfully it beat the keeper."
Defeat leaves Sunderland six points adrift of Premier League safety but Wickham believes they have shown they have the ability to fight for survival.
"Maybe we come in as underdogs but we have a determined bunch of lads," he said.
"It showed out there on the pitch that we are not going to give up.
"We've come up against a top team and done ourselves proud today."