SUNDERLAND can’t afford to feel sorry for themselves after their FA Cup disappointment – that’s the verdict of skipper Lee Cattermole.
The midfielder was the first to admit that the Black Cats were “second best” as Everton cruised into the semi-final with a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland were never at the races as the Toffees bossed the quarter-final replay, taking a deserved first-half lead through Nikica Jelavic, and securing a Wembley showdown against rivals Liverpool courtesy of a dreadful own goal by substitute David Vaughan.
It was no less than David Moyes’s side, who were superior throughout, deserved.
But as the Black Cats were left to lick their wounds and think of what might have been, Cattermole insisted that they have pick themselves up as they focus on a top-half league finish.
“Last night I don’t think we really showed up, I thought all over the pitch we were second best,” he said.
“We couldn’t really deal with the long ball, and we just looked vulnerable all over the pitch.
“It was disappointing, but now we have just got to focus on the rest of the season. We have got six or seven big weeks now to try to come back from this.
“I think if you had said three or four months ago that we could finish in the top half of the league, I think everyone would have grabbed it with both hands.
“We will try to look at the positives now and build on what we have done so far.
“The lads are hurting in the changing room afterwards, but we are going to have to come out and respond, and we will find out about their characters.”