GUS Poyet says he will watch in training this week for the right response from his players to their Capital One Cup final defeat.
The Sunderland head coach was as crushed as any of his squad at the end of a gallant but ultimately futile effort to contain Manchester City’s multi-talented superstars on a draining Wembley afternoon.
But now he says the final is something Sunderland need to build on, rather than mull over.
“It’s up to me now to make sure we go on from this,” the Uruguayan said.
“It is my responsibility and I have to use this the right way.
“I don’t like excuses and I won’t allow the disappointment of a cup final to be used as an excuse by the players.”
Every Sunderland player will have their own personal reaction to their day at Wembley.
But perhaps no one more so than American international striker Jozy Altidore who was left out of the squad altogether – a point Poyet accepted.
“I want us to move on in the right way and I will demand it,” he said.
“But it is easy for me to say: ‘put this behind you and move on’ and another thing for it to actually happen.
“We will see how each one of them is individually.
“How will Jozy Altidore react to not being in the squad for example?
“I don’t know. I will find out.
“It’s tough for him, it’s tough for everyone, defeat.
“I hate losing, hate it, but we have to show the right response.”
Phil Bardsley looked inconsolable in the centre-circle at the final whistle, and John O’Shea pointed out in a TV interview that all cup final defeats are heartbreaking.
Earlier, Seb Larsson had been seen uncharacteristically raging at the Sunderland bench as he was substituted shortly after City grabbed a second-half lead.
But Poyet explained: “Seb was angry because he had been fouled in the build-up to the Yaya Toure goal and he was still angry about it when he came off.
“In an ideal world the referee would have seen the foul – it was an easy one to give.
“But even so, we can’t complain about the quality of the finish.
“Seb was passionate, but there was a lot of passion around but I like that and now we have to pick ourselves up again.
“Maybe it’s good that we have a cup game next weekend, (the FA Cup quarter-final against Hull City), because that game might help us get over the disappointment of this one.”