West Brom put the Black Cats to the sword at the weekend, with Martin O’Neill’ suffering his fourth defeat as Stadium of Light boss in a 4-0 rout.
Despite this, Bardsley feels if his side can look forward and focus on the task at hand it will serve them well.
“It was a reality check. Absolutely,” he told Mirror Football.
“We didn’t turn up and we didn’t have a go. I just hope it never happens again because that just wasn’t good enough.
“We have to dust ourselves down and go again for a massive game next week. We want to finish in the top half of the table.
“It’s a big challenge for us and hopefully days like this will not come around too often. It’s up to us to put it right and we have to make sure we are focused on Newcastle,” he stated.
By Gareth McKnight