John O'Shea

O'Shea: We must improve

by Stuart Vose

Defender's honest assessment following defeat.

John O’Shea says Sunderland must improve quickly in the wake of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.

Scott McDonald’s first-half goal decided the Wear-Tees derby in the visitors’ favour as Boro progressed to the quarter-finals.

O’Shea admitted the defeat represented a missed opportunity for Sunderland and says the squad will knuckle down ahead of this weekend’s game against Aston Villa.

“Chances to get into the quarter-finals of a cup don’t come around every week and we’ve let ourselves down,” he said afterwards.

“Middlesbrough came with a good game plan and we just came up with no ideas to break it down. It was quite comfortable for them. We couldn’t keep them under any consistent pressure.

“We need to drastically improve on this very quickly because we have a massive game now on Saturday against Aston Villa.

“We have to improve on a lot of things and it will start as soon as the lads come into training.

“We will have a look back at a couple of things but we have to pick ourselves up very quickly. As I said, the chance to get into the quarter final of a cup is an opportunity we needed to grasp, but we didn’t.”

O’Shea added: “We have to be creating more chances in games, especially at home and we need to start playing like a team and that is the main thing we will be working on for Saturday.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work over the next few days but we will make sure that our attitude is spot on, make sure we sure the right commitment and we need to score goals and win matches.

“It’s okay drawing games but if eventually you keep drawing games then it’s a risky game. We are a strong team and we know we need more goals.”