Simon Grayson was left frustrated by his side’s defeat to Bristol City this afternoon, insisting his players must take responsibility when defending set-pieces.

Sunderland’s bright start turned to dust when Bobby Reid headed the visitors in front on 28 minutes, moving away from his marker to nod home Callum O’Dowda’s corner at the back post.

It was cruel on the Black Cats, but leading scorer Lewis Grabban got the lads deservedly level when he stabbed home his sixth goal in 10 appearances on the stroke of half-time.

The goal provided the lads with a major boost going into the midway break, but it was one that didn’t last as O’Dowda once again caused problems in the second period. His searching ball towards the head of second-half substitute Milan Djuric saw City claim all three points, leaving Sunderland to continue their chase for a first home win in 2017.

Speaking to post-match, Grayson delivered his thought.

“We have lost another home game so I am not going to stand here and say they did well and their performance warranted a victory,” he said.

“When you analyse the game there were certain things we did ok with but we probably didn’t do enough to win the game.

“The biggest factor that can happen in a home game is getting that first goal.

“We did a set play meeting yesterday, we went through the possibilities before the game with the players in the team meeting and ultimately a player who is 5’7 gets a free header in the box and that knocks the wind out of your sails.

“Up until then I thought we did alright. We passed it and did ok at times, we limited them to a few opportunities but their goal obviously derailed us.

“We had a big boost before half-time but then we got done with a sucker punch,” he continued.

“The players have got to take responsibility for mistakes over the last few weeks.

“The players have designated markers and they have got to make sure they get touch-tight to make sure they don’t contribute to an opportunity for the opposition.”

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