Carlos Cuellar insists Sunderland still believe they can stay in the Premier League, despite Gus Poyet's grim assessment of their chances.
Sunderland were hammered 5-1 at Tottenham on Monday, a result that leaves them at the foot of the table, seven points adrift of safety.
The Wearside club do have games in hand on their relegation rivals, but face Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton and Manchester United - all in the league's top seven - before the season ends.
Manager Poyet conceded after the humbling at White Hart Lane that his side need a "miracle" in order to remain in the top flight, but Cuellar is adamant that Sunderland will keep fighting.
"It is really, really difficult now but we still believe," Cuellar said in quotes reported by the British media.
"We have too many games to give up on survival. We have teams down near us still to play and we have to take some hope from that.
"It is too early to say or think we are relegated. We keep fighting.
"We must try and clear our minds of the last few weeks and get back to the performances at the start of the year when we were playing well.
"If we play the same as we did then, we can be okay."
Cuellar's contract at the Stadium of Light expires at the end of the season, but the defender is keen to extend his stay, regardless of what division Sunderland are in.
"I don't know what will happen next season," he added.
"I would like to be here whatever division we are in but I don't know what is going to happen with me because my contract is finished in the summer.
"My main thing that I am thinking about is to try to keep the club in the Premier League. I am not asking the club what they are doing because the main focus has to be on this season.
"I don't know what is going to happen, but I am really happy at Sunderland and I want to play more games for Sunderland."
|Messi ends his Chelsea hoodoo|
|Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Messi breaks Blues hoodoo to leave tie in the balance|
|Bayern Munich 5 Besiktas 0: Two-goal Muller inspires emphatic win after Vida red|
|De Vrij confirms intention to leave Lazio on free transfer|
|Sanchez move down to Champions League frustration at Arsenal - Mourinho|
|Mourinho suggests Pogba is fit to face Sevilla|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk & Oscar lead Shanghai, Jeonbuk Motors hit six|
|Cech expects Ospina to start for Arsenal in EFL Cup final|
|Gueye signs new Everton deal until 2022|
|FA charges Man City and Wigan for failing to control players|
|Aguero faces no action over Wigan fan incident|
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|FA issues West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we ´lock him up or tie him up´ – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Sevilla v Manchester United: Montella and Mourinho unified in pursuit of identity|
|Besiktas face Bayern test, Messi seeks to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Jose Morais: The Mourinho acolyte bringing Barcelona to Barnsley|
|Rakitic: More to Chelsea than just Hazard|
|Klopp tactics behind my form – Salah|
|Young: Man United can win Champions League|
|Messi is best but ´not invincible´, says Pedro|
|It´s a red card – Guardiola accepts Delph sending off amid City´s Wigan woe|
|Aguero lashes out at fan as tempers flare after Wigan stun Man City|
|Grigg revels in dousing Manchester City´s fire|
|Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester City 0: Grigg ends Guardiola´s quadruple dream|
|Messi the best but don´t forget Suarez, says Chelsea boss Conte|
|I need a great game – Hazard aiming for Messi heights|
|AFC Champions League Review: El-Arabi´s brace seals Al Wahda´s fate|
|Barcelona boss Valverde tells Chelsea: History counts|
|Schmidt departs as Wolfsburg face relegation fight|
|Madrid, Barca & PSG are Champions League favourites, says Heynckes|
|Former football coach Bennell sentenced to 31 years|
|Hummels wary of ´top European team´ as Bayern prepare for Besiktas|
|WATCH: ´Crazy´ Evra drives to West Ham training in London cab|
|Barca clash a chance for Chelsea ´to do things right´, proclaims Rudiger|
|Lucas claims Tottenham can win Champions League|
|Barcelona tie will not decide Conte´s Chelsea future, says Deco|
|Lewandowski won´t be distracted by Real Madrid rumours|
|Man Utd must not underestimate Sevilla - Navas|
|Iniesta will not be made welcome at Stamford Bridge, warns Azpilicueta|
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|
|Real Madrid hurt you with nothing – Xavi says PSG loss an injustice|
|Conte: Chelsea need perfect game to stop Messi and Barcelona|
|Inter in a fragile moment, says Spalletti|
|Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength|