Sunderland manager David Moyes blamed his players for failing to hold on to a 2-0 lead in Saturday's 3-2 home defeat by Crystal Palace.
The Black Cats led through Jermain Defoe's double before Palace hit back, with Christian Benteke heading in the winner in the 94th minute.
"We need our players to assume a level of responsibility that it's not all down to me and my staff," he said.
"It's simple - just do the basics well and then you won't concede goals."
Moyes, who took over from Sam Allardyce in the summer, said at the start of the season that Sunderland would be involved in a relegation fight.
His side are now bottom of the Premier League table with one point from six games.
"We're in a similar situation to where the club's been for the last two or three seasons," added the former Everton and Manchester United manager.
"To address this, when we go 2-0 up, we don't lose headers and challenges.
"The players have got to do their bit, and I'm not sure today in certain situations they did.
"Many managers have said similar things to me and maybe the fans are now used to it. I do think the players need to be big enough to play and do the right things."
Sunderland's next match is at home to West Brom next Saturday.