Elliott Dickman shared his disappointment as Sunderland under-23s exited the Premier League Cup on Friday evening.
Eoin McKeown’s goal inside the opening 10 minutes saw Colchester United advance to the quarter-finals despite an onslaught from the hosts for much of the match.
The Essex club spent the second period camped deep in their own penalty box, but somehow, someway, managed to hold firm to deny the Black Cats from levelling the tie.
As the fourth official signalled six minutes of additional time at the end, late drama followed as Josh Maja was denied from the penalty spot and then had a goal disallowed.
Speaking to safc.com, the under-23s lead coach rued his side’s lack of clinical finishing as the Black Cats were defeated by Wayne Brown’s side.
“It is a tough one to take because in the last 15-20 minutes we played some good stuff,” he said.
“We gave a poor goal away, though, and we didn’t start the game too well - we have got to be better overall.
“But for all the chances, all the possession and all the play we had it is important to take chances and it is something we have got to be better at.
“We have paid the ultimate price for not taking our chances – that just shows how important it is to be clinical at every chance.
“It is difficult to nail it down as to why we missed so many chances, but my message to our players is that they need to love to score,” he continued.
“Just like at the other end our defenders need to love to defend – it has got to be the same mentality at both ends.”