Manager Sam Allardyce says Sunderland cannot afford to take risks in the battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The Black Cats came from behind to draw with Bournemouth on Saturday but they remain 19th, three points from safety.
Allardyce had strikers Dame N'Doye and Steven Fletcher on the bench but sent on midfielder Jack Rodwell late on.
"Why gamble when we've gambled before and lost every single game?" Allardyce told BBC Newcastle.
"You don't gamble on situations like that, particularly when you've gambled before and ended up losing three or four and not getting any points whatsoever.
"We tried our very best to secure the three points but this time, instead of throwing it away, we have gained a point - the first point we've gained coming from behind since I've been here."
Sunderland conceded inside the first 15 minutes for the eighth time this season.
The point gained, added to defeats for Newcastle and Norwich, keeps them well in the race to avoid the drop.
"Obviously we're still in a very difficult position because we've got 19 points in 23 games," continued the ex-West Ham manager.
"As the season draws closer to the end, it gets more and more panicky by the fact there's this many points from the games you've got left.
"That's why it's my hope we're at least close to level points when it gets to the last eight games of the season."