Disapppointed, it is fair to say, was a word heard often on Steve Bruce’s lips. It annoyed many supporters no end. And it somehow seems entirely the wrong response to this latest setback in the fortunes of Sunderland AFC, implying as it does that we would have progressed further in this uncommonly winnable of competitions if only all our flair, sense of adventure and endeavour had paid off. As opposed to the reason for the exit being, as Pete Sixsmith called, is ‘the most inept performance since the last most inept performance, clueless and brainless’. Let us hear what the boss had to say in the knowledge that sterner analysis is in the minds of others …
We’re obviously disappointed. We didn’t do well enough.
We were unable to score a goal to give ourselves a chance in the game.
We had an opportunity to get through to the quarter finals of the competition and we failed.
During the course of the season you meet a number of tests and this is the first one. We have to be able to come through this.
We have to pick ourselves up, which is easy to say, but we didn’t play well enough and we didn’t give our supporters enough to get enthused about.
Middlesbrough came with a totally free spirit and enjoyed the game. If they won, great, if not it wouldn’t have been make or break for their season.
However, for us this was a big night and we’ve failed the test.
I think you learn more about people in adversity. We need to get a grip of the situation and prepare ourselves for Saturday, it’s a different competition and it’s a big game for us.
All the best,