'We didn’t deserve to be beaten.'
Manager Martin O’Neill felt his side were unlucky following their first home defeat in the Barclays Premier League at the hands of Aston Villa.
O’Neill’s former club left the Stadium of Light with all three points after Gabriel Agbonlahor broke the deadlock in the 57th minute.
I could not fault the players’ effort whatsoever. I think it was epitomised by a fantastic performance from Lee Cattermole
- Martin O'Neill
Sunderland were not without chances in the game, with both Steven Fletcher and Fraizer Campbell going close to scoring and Lee Cattermole having two efforts go agonisingly wide.
Following the game, O’Neill told safc.com: “We probably should have won the game, but the ball just didn’t drop for us today.
“We’re not scoring goals, we’ve had people in and around the penalty area, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for us.
“I could not fault the players’ effort whatsoever. I think it was epitomised by a fantastic performance from Lee Cattermole.
“It was as good a performance as I have seen from a player and he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Sunderland dominated for long spells in the encounter and despite having more shots than the visitors they were unable to convert any chances.
“We drove at Villa and tried everything but we were unable to wear them down,” O’Neill continued.
“We need to be resilient. It’s been tough going and we’ve found ourselves in the situation where we’re not getting goals.
“You wouldn’t think we would have that problem with all of the attacking players we have in the team.
“We have to stick in at it and we’ll come back from this - we’re all in this together.”