ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman bemoaned his sides poor defending in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Wham Stadium.

Stanley took the lead in the fifth minute through Jordan Clark, but being slack at the back meant Sunderland where quickly in front through Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire.

It is now 25 games since the Reds have managed to keep a clean sheet.

"We beat ourselves today. People will laud Sunderland for being clinical and having good players and they have; I can’t deny it," said Cole

"The game could’ve been a lot different. You can say that they tried to see the game out in the second half, but I thought we were the better team overall.

"They got a chance at the end and that would’ve made it disgustingly 4-1. We’ve got to learn, and we’ve got to learn quickly.

"As a team we just don’t defend properly and if you can’t do that then you’re going to lose games especially against quality forwards like they’ve got.

"We had an unbelievable start with Jordan Clark, great goal. We go to sleep from a throw in to let them equalise and we haven’t had time to enjoy being in the lead and put pressure on them and get the crowd to turn on them.

"We gave them a massive shot of adrenaline. We’re still very much in the ascendency in the game and we concede from a throw in on the edge of their box and we don’t defend it again.

"It’s simple organisation, simple marking that we don’t do and we’re 2-1 down before we know it. They’re 2-1 up without getting out of bed. We’d spoken earlier in the week as an 11, we have to just do the simple things defensively.

"We did that, we put the ball out of play. You can say it’s fine margins, the throw in that they’ve actually scored from is our throw in. that’s the harsh reality.

"You’ve still got to defend it and we didn’t. The turning point of the game is probably Colby on the underside of the bar, and we’ve stood still like statues instead of following it in.

"If that goes it’s 2-2 and game on. Instead we make a pass straight to them to give them a break away and they score.

"The other turning point is Jordan hitting a shot, it’s goal bound and it hits Dion on the face on the line. Things like that just happen and you have to accept it.

"We huffed and puffed, showed a lot of desire and work rate, but we’re so naïve defensively as an 11 and until we get that right, it’s going to be a long hard struggle."