Cape Town - Sunderland manager David Moyes says he understands the frustrations of the fans as his side were booed off the field in their latest 2-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The damaging result at the Hawthorns saw the Black Cats drop to the bottom of the English Premier League table, with Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt scoring two fantastic first-half strikes for the Baggies.
And Moyes admits he shares the feelings of the fans at the moment but encouragingly reminded them that a win could have taken them out of the drop zone - despite having a depleted squad.
A total of 10 first-team players are currently unavailable to Moyes, with seven injuries and three on international duty for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
"I totally understand them. I'm a supporter myself, maybe if we had three points more we might be where people would expect us to be," he told reporters.
"But we are not that far away. A win would have taken us out of the relegation zone.
"The performances recently have not been how we would have liked - and we are the first to admit that - but there are mitigating circumstances for that.
"Sunderland fans have been in this position before - they have seen
the team further away (from safety) before. If any fans know about this
situation it is our supporters in recent years."
Sunderland are now on a run with seven games without a win and three points away from 17th placed Swansea City.