John Carver has admitted he is still hurting from Newcastle United’s 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Sunday.
Jermain Defoe’s first-half goal earned Sunderland their fifth consecutive victory in the derby fixture and Carver admits he has found defeat hard to take.
Carver has been preparing his players for Monday’s Sky Live game at Liverpool, and has galvanised his side for one last push up the table.
He told Sky Sports News HQ: "It's been extremely difficult. Certainly Monday was one of the darkest days in my career, and I'm still hurting, to be honest.
"The one thing I have to do is not to show it in front of the players, but it was a bitter pill to take. It was the manner of the defeat.
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"As a club collectively, we accept the responsibility, we accept it wasn't good enough - and I'm talking about the people at the top, from the board down - over to the tea lady, we all take responsibility, players, staff, because it just wasn't good enough at the weekend against Sunderland.
"There's something in the DNA because we have had different managers, but we have had almost the same group of players. There are a lot of those players who have had experience - and I did talk about it before the game - but there are not many 'W's next to their names.
"We seem to have a problem when we have to compete, and it's something we need to address. We have talked about addressing that in the summer, and that's something that we need to do."
Disgruntled United fans, who have seen their side lose their last four matches, are reportedly hatching a plot to boycott the next home game against Tottenham in protest at owner Mike Ashley's stewardship.
Carver said: "People are entitled to do what they want to do, I can't do anything about that. The one thing I will say is I'll be focused on the team and things like that won't distract me."