David Moyes still believes Sunderland can survive relegation from the Premier League after a 1-0 loss at Watford left them with just one win in 2017.
Sunderland remain seven points adrift of safety with only nine games left, with Saturday's display having offered little cause for optimism.
Miguel Britos' close-range header – his first goal for the club – proved the difference and it could have been worse for the visitors had Jordan Pickford not been so impressive in goal.
Asked if he thinks the Black Cats can stay up, Moyes said: "Yes. Results haven't gone for us, but we will keep going."
The Scot added of the Vicarage Road defeat: "It was very tight. I said set-pieces would be vital and we did well. We had a few to defend and we just don't see the job through.
53' Pickford shouts instructions at his defence after withstanding a lot of pressure since the restart pic.twitter.com/1TOvduLieW— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) April 1, 2017
"There weren't really any other opportunities. Jordan made a great save, but it was even.
"The players showed heart and were committed. We tried to find way a of scoring, but that has been a problem and it was here. I think we deserved something."
Opposite number Walter Mazzarri, whose side ended a four-game winless run, was pleased but wants his players to be more clinical in attacking areas.
"It gives me great satisfaction, but the one area we have to improve on is the last pass," he said.
"It was very deserved. We had four or five chances in the first half. We should have scored more goals, but no doubt it is a deserved win."