ASTON Villa had the desire and will to win which Sunderland lacked – and that was the difference between the two sides, said Paolo Di Canio.
The Black Cats boss was generous in defeat and quick to acknowledge Villa’s resolve when their backs were against the wall.
“Villa had desire and dedication,” he sniffed. “They played like it was the last chance of their lives and that was how we needed to play but didn’t.
“Villa looked the way that we had looked in our last couple of games against Newcastle and Everton and we have to accept that this has been a very bad night for us.
“We have to face up to it.
“It was great coming up to meet the Press and the fans after the Newcastle game and Everton game but you also have to come up to face people after a bad defeat too.
“And we have only ourselves to blame for that.
“The manager has to accept most responsibility because it is his team and his strategy and even if his players do not put that strategy into practice, he has to accept responsibility for that too.
“We came here knowing Villa are one of the very best sides at counter-attacking football in the Premier League and in my view the players did not take that on board in the way we played.”
Now, Di Canio will look for a response from his players and will expect vastly improved performances in the home games against Stoke City and Southampton.
“We have to be intelligent now, analyse exactly what went wrong and how we are going to put it right,” he said.
“You cannot know everything about your players in a month so I will be interested to see how they respond now.
“We have to react the right way, we have to show the right character.”