Ball's side took the lead after just five minutes at the Stadium of Light on Saturday after Craig Gardner punished a defensive lapse before Adnan Januzaj came to United's response by scoring twice in the second half to win the game for David Moyes' side.
But Ball wants Sunderland to continue battling for survival as they look to climb off the foot of the Premier League table.
"What I have said to them is that has got to be the minimum in future they do for themselves," said ball.
"Irrespective of who the manager is, that's the minimum they have got to do.
"They have got to keep building on that and building on that and building on that, adding bits of the game that we would like to see them improve on and hopefully results will come."
Ball took over first-team affairs at the Stadium of Light after Paolo Di Canio was sacked and he is hoping to find out this week if he has done enough in his three games in charge to earn the job on a permanent basis.
A Capital One Cup win over Peterborough was followed by a battling 3-1 defeat to Liverpool and Saturday's narrow defeat to United under Ball's leadership.
Asked about his immediate future, he added "No idea at the moment. I don't know whether they are going to give me a ring, speak to me or anything like that.
"But I am sure in the next couple of days, they will do something."