SEB LARSSON insists Sunderland cannot use their FA Cup exploits as an excuse for the dismal depths of their Ewood Park defeat.
Sunderland’s display at Blackburn Rovers last night was light and day from the committed performance in Saturday’s cup quarter-final draw at Everton, as the hosts took a major step towards Premier League safety with their first back-to-back victories since November 2010.
The Black Cats can ill-afford to repeat such a poor showing next Tuesday when they face the Toffees again, with a place in the final four of the cup at stake.
But midfielder Larsson says Sunderland must maintain their focus on the league too, with Martin O’Neill’s side facing nine remaining games to achieve their top 10 goal – starting with Saturday’s visit of QPR.
Larsson told SportMail: “We can’t just concentrate on the cup and we’re not going to use that as an excuse whatsoever.
“We’ve got loads to play for in the league and we want to push on and finish as high as we can. We don’t want to let the season fizzle out.
“The cup comes along when it comes along, until then we won’t worry about it.
“The good thing is we’ve got a game in a couple of days again. We need to dust ourselves off and be ready for that and make sure we get the three points at home.
“We should be turning up for games like last night. You can never guarantee a scoreline, but we shouldn’t perform like that.
“We know what we can do and we’ve done it plenty of times over the last few months.
“When you know that, sometimes you don’t understand why things like this happen. You just have to hold your hands up and say we weren’t good enough.”