A week that began with defender Arthur Masuaku banned for six games for spitting in the FA Cup defeat at Wigan, ended with a loss at Brighton that showed why the club is in danger of the drop.
In between came the dismissal of head of player recruitment Tony Henry after claims he said the club did not want to sign any more African players.
Manager David Moyes denied that, pointing out he had tried to sign Algerian Islam Slimani and Cameroon defender Ibrahim Amadou on deadline day.
Moyes was keen to draw a line under the issue after this loss and wing-back Cresswell maintained the theme.
“We can’t be affected by that,” he said. “We have to do our job on the field and that’s all we can focus on.”
Javier Hernandez had cancelled out Glenn Murray’s early goal, but they had no response when Jose Izquierdo put Brighton back in front with a stunning shot and Pascal Gross wrapped it up later.