Cape Town - Sunderland's 1-1 draw with Southampton at the weekend lifted them out of the bottom three but manager Sam Allardyce sees the result as two points lost instead of a point gained in the battle to avoid the Premier League drop.
Sunderland, who lost the corresponding fixture 8-0 last season, went in front in the 85th minute through Jermain Defoe but the visitors could not hold the lead as Virgil van Dijk equalised in stoppage time.
"We have shot ourselves in the foot," Allardyce told the BBC.
"What a massive difference it makes to our plight at this stage of the season. We should be going three points clear of the bottom three.
"It's going to take some getting over for me."
Sunderland are a point above the final relegation place occupied by Norwich City, who lost 1-0 to Swansea City at the weekend. Newcastle trail Norwich only on goal difference with Aston Villa propping up the table eight points further back.
The fact that his team had moved out of the relegation zone gave Allardyce little comfort.
"Don't keep saying we're out the bottom three - it's not enough points. We've got to accept that we're still one of the favourites to get relegated," he added.
Sunderland's next Premier League game is against Newcastle on March 20.