Gus Poyet will not allow the disappointment of Sunderland's Capital One Cup final defeat to linger for one second.
Manchester City looked set to suffer Wembley heartbreak for the second time in less than 12 months on Sunday when Sunderland took a deserved lead through Fabio Borini.
But second-half goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas denied the Black Cats a morale-boosting win.
Sunderland's players were dejected when they came off the Wembley pitch. Vito Mannone, for one, was almost inconsolable when he left the stadium.
Manchester City 3 Sunderland 1 player ratings
Manchester City 3 Sunderland 1 player ratings
1/24 Costel Pantilimon 5/10
Could do little about the opening goal and had few shots to deal with. Not always convincing though, with the odd wayward punch.
2/24 Pablo Zabaleta 5/10
Frustrating first half as chances to get forward were limited but became more involved in the second period and laid on the pass for Toure’s goal.
3/24 Vincent Kompany 7/10
Surprisingly outdone by Borini for the opening goal but more than made up for it, particularly with a last-ditch challenge on Sunderland’s goalscorer.
4/24 Martin Demichelis 5/10
Continues to look a weak link in the Manchester City side, but did enough in this match to keep Sunderland from scoring again. Strong in the air.
5/24 Aleksandar Kolarov 7/10
Delivered the ball for Nasri’s goal and was a constant threat down the left with consistent deliveries. Dreadful clearance late on.
6/24 Fernandinho 7/10
Made vital tackles throughout the match and began to dominate the centre of the park. His challenge on Alonso started move for final goal.
7/24 Yaya Toure 7/10
A jaded performance was sparked into life by a quite brilliant curled strike. Played further forward in later stages and set up Navas’s winner.
8/24 Samir Nasri 8/10
Among City’s best performers, combining with his fellow midfielders and opening up Sunderland’s defence. First-time shot to score was sublime.
9/24 Sergio Aguero 7/10
Proved he was fit and ready for the final with some excellent touches and frightening pace. Showed great control in build-up to second goal.
10/24 David Silva 7/10
Usual brilliant self, with quick tidy passing constantly giving Sunderland something to think about. At times overplayed it and was taken off.
11/24 Edin Dzeko 4/10
Failed to influence the game, with his first touch letting him down. Managed to waste some time when withdrawn for Negredo.
12/24 Best of the bench: Jesus Navas 7/10
Pace was a threat when he came on for Aguero, helping to keep Sunderland pegged back. Scored the final goal with well-placed effort inside near post.
13/24 Vito Mannone 6/10
Could do nothing about the first two goals, which were struck brilliantly. Got a hand on the third but power took it past him. Otherwise good.
14/24 Phil Bardsley 7/10
Strong tackle on Silva early on showed he was up for this one. Crucial interception inside his own six-yard box with Nasri looking to find a team-mate.
15/24 Marcos Alonso 6/10
Was not tight enough to Nasri for the second goal but did well to limit City’s progress down their right in the first half. Tired in the second period
16/24 Wes Brown 6/10
Solid throughout, winning numerous headers when City tried to play the ball long, helping to keep Dzeko quiet. Headed just over from a corner
17/24 John O’Shea 6/10
The veteran defender showed he still has a bit in the tank when he needs it, managing to keep pace with both Aguero and Navas, just, and make crucial tackles.
18/24 Lee Cattermole 7/10
Showed desire to get on the ball whenever he could and leadership in abundance. Good pass selection, although made occasional errors.
19/24 Jack Colback 6/10
Put in strong tackles throughout and showed his ability to deliver a dangerous cross from the left. Did not always get the better of Zabaleta, however.
20/24 Adam Johnson 6/10
Exquisite pass with outside of the boot set up Borini’s goal. However, failed to repeat his recent good form and was withdrawn after an hour.
21/24 Sebastian Larsson 6/10
Played in a central position and was involved in Sunderland’s best moves during the first half. Less influential in the second and replaced after an hour.
22/24 Ki Sung-yueng 8/10
Assured touches in central areas and looked to take his team forward whenever he received the ball. Stung palms of Pantilimon from range.
23/24 Fabio Borini 6/10
Scored with great calmness to put Sunderland in the lead. Should perhaps have doubled advantage when in on goal again. Faded as game went on.
24/24 Best of the bench: Steven Fletcher 4/10
Decent chance inside box but could only shoot straight at Pantilimon. Provided focal point up front but touch let him down badly when in good position.
But given that Sunderland are currently mired in a relegation battle, Poyet knows he cannot sit back and allow the players to wonder what might have been.
"It's up to me to make sure we use this defeat in the right way," the Sunderland manager said.
"I don't like excuses, I won't give the players the opportunity to have an excuses because we lost today. No chance."
Poyet, whose team are one point from safety, admits his management skills will be put to the test over the next couple of weeks as he tries to refocus the players' minds on moving out of the bottom three in the Barclays Premier League.
The former Brighton manager is sure that his players are good enough to escape the drop though.
"If we do this every week, I'm sure we'll stay in the league," he added.
"I need to see who takes my words now and shows me they are okay after this because we are all different.
"Maybe playing in the FA Cup (versus Hull) next week helps us, and then we have the (league) game against Crystal Palace which we must win, for sure."
While Poyet spoke about trying to get his team out of the relegation zone, his opposite number Manuel Pellegrini was dreaming about pulling off an incredible quadruple after lifting his first trophy in English football.
City are still in the FA Cup and they lie second in the Premier League. They are two goals down in their Champions League tie with Barcelona, but Pellegrini hopes he can guide his team to glory in all three remaining competitions.
"We are the only club that has the chance to continue trying to win all the competitions and this gives us a lot of confidence," the City manager said.
"We wanted this trophy but I don't think that anybody can think that is enough.
"I don't think for top players or important clubs, you are satisfied with one trophy.
"We know it won't be easy, but we are going to try."Reuse content