Duncan Watmore refused to be downbeat following Sunderland’s EFL Cup exit at Southampton.
The Black Cats battled well and in a closely fought encounter at St Mary’s, but a moment of magic from Sofiane Boufal shortly after the hour mark provided the difference.
Victor Anichebe had strong claims for a penalty turned away in the dying embers of the game to complete a frustrating finale for the Lads.
And although Watmore was disappointed to exit the competition, he urged his team-mates to keep working and let their team spirit shine through on the pitch.
“It’s another loss which is frustrating for us but we have to keep going,” said Watmore. “We could have had a penalty – I haven’t seen it back myself – but losing is frustrating and it’s disappointing to be out of the cup.
“You could say we haven’t had much luck but sometimes you’ve got to earn it, so we will keep working hard for each other and be positive.”
He continued: “Our team ethic is very important but we have great lads in the dressing room and good backroom staff, so everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction.
“Now we have to make it count and take it onto the pitch.”