With only three points taken from a possible 21, these are troubled times for Ince in his maiden season at Ewood Park.

Blackburn had a great chance to build on Chris Samba's opening goal in first half stoppage time but instead they fell apart.

Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse found the target to propel Sunderland up the table and give them revenge for their Carling Cup defeat in midweek

Ince was alarmed at the way his side collapsed to a 2-1 defeat.

He said: "We just had a great opportunity after winning on Wednesday. I played a full strength side but the majority of them let me down.

"Samba was outstanding and Roque (Santa Cruz) was out of this world. The others have got to stand up and be counted.

"They have to realise they are in a dogfight and need to have that survival instinct about them.

"The disappointing thing is we capitulated when it went to 1-1. We did not have any leaders or characters to get us back together.

"It can't always come from the staff and the management, it has got to come from them. They are the ones out there."

Samba's goal came from a powerful header but Blackburn have failed to win in seven league games and face successive away matches at Tottenham and Portsmouth.

Ince is refusing to panic after arriving in the summer from MK Dons, the club he led to promotion from League Two.

He said: "We know where we are now. There is a long way to go and I don't want to go over the top at the moment.

"We are under no illusions. We have not spent the most money in this league, probably the second lowest. We are changing things at the club but it will take time."

Jones changed the face of the game in the 49th minute with a clever overhead kick after goalkeeper Paul Robinson had failed to deal with a corner from Kieran Richardson.

It was his second goal of the week after he marked his comeback from a knee ligament injury by finding the target in the cup defeat.

Jones will now continue his recovery process this week when he plays for Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup qualifier against Cuba.

"Fingers crossed he will come back in one piece," said manager Roy Keane.

Cisse then grabbed the winner in the 72nd minute by chipping the ball over the advancing Robinson following a cushioned header from Steed Malbranque.

Sunderland's raucous supporters celebrated at the end as if they had won a trophy and were further heartened by the news Keane had no thoughts of quitting.

He revealed he had been walking his dog when, according to a wild rumour on the eve of the game, he was walking out of the club.

Keane has yet to sign a new contract but he said: "There is no uncertainty, I am in negotiations with the club and I am sure things will be sorted.

"It is nobody's business, my contract situation. It is a matter between me and the board.

"Myself, Niall Quinn (the chairman) and the people involved are the most relaxed people in the world about it.

"Trust me when I have lost three-four games the last thing on my mind is my contract situation. I have more important things to worry about.

"These things will take care of themselves. My job is to try and win football matches."