TITUS Bramble says Sunderland must tonight bounce back from the disappointing draw at West Ham on Saturday.
And the Capital One Cup clash at League One MK Dons gives the Black Cats a quick chance to lift spirits following Kevin Nolan’s last-gasp eqialiser at Upton Park.
The big defender was one of the Black Cats’ best players under the aerial bombardment from the Hammers, and he could get a chance to see out a victory tonight.
“There was a lot of disappointment in the dressing room at the final whistle on Saturday,” the centre-half told the Echo.
“And we need to put that behind us as quickly as possible.
“That’s why I’m pleased the cup game comes around so quickly.
“Against West Ham we really felt we’d done enough to see the game out and we were about to walk off with all three points.
“It was a tough first half and then they threw everything at us in the second half.
“The ball was coming up towards the box non-stop but we had handled it well enough and then there’s just that drop of the ball in the last few seconds and you concede.
“It felt like a lot of hard work had just gone to waste. It’s an away point and people will say that’s always good – maybe it is – but it didn’t feel like a point gained, just two dropped at the final whistle.
“We had known what to expect from West Ham – a lot of high balls and the need for us to defend the second ball – and we handled them pretty well all afternoon.”
Bramble does not know whether he’ll be playing tonight with boss Martin O’Neill having hinted at changes and questioned whether the 31-year-old is capable of three games in 10 days.
But Bramble feels that whatever team takes the field tonight, the players will be on a mission to show Sunderland’s quality.
He said: “Whoever plays, I’m sure will give a good account of themselves.
“The cup is different altogether from the league and it’s a good opportunity for us.
“The MK Dons will be a completely different challenge for us and the last thing we can do is afford to under-estimate them.
“But we’ll be up for it and we’re aware that if we get a win in the cup, the competition really starts to open up in the next round.
“It’s a pity we didn’t get our first win of the season at West Ham but we’ve got a quick chance to put that behind us by doing ourselves justice tonight and getting ourselves into the next round.”