GUS Poyet forced himself to be upbeat on a night his unbeaten home record as Sunderland head coach came to an end.
After victories over Newcastle, Southampton and Manchester City at the Stadium of Light, the Uruguayan had every reason to expect another excellent display from his improving side on home soil.
He got it too – Sunderland playing with 100 percent commitment to score more goals in a single game than they had managed in any other Premier League match all season.
To see Sunderland notch three goals in a game was exactly what Poyet had been hoping for in recent weeks.
To see them get those goals and still finish the game without a point, as Chelsea hit four to keep their title ambitions on track, was not.
That disappointment was etched across his face in the minutes after the game as he faced the media.
So it was a manful effort on Poyet’s part to focus on the many positives of the night. “I’m proud of the players,” he sighed. “No, I am.
“I’m still upset we lost, but I know I have to be positive. The fans, I think, enjoyed it – it’s the sort of games fans love up here – all action and plenty of goals.
“And I also have to take a consolation from the fact that Chelsea had to work so very hard for the three points.”
Already though, Poyet’s mind was picking at the fault-lines, at the thin margins between success and failure at both ends of the pitch.
“We worked hard and couldn’t have given more,” he acknowledged.
“I will look at the little details, where we might have done better, because there is always something you can learn, something you can do better from every game.
“It is important we keep on learning, keep on trying to improve because there were things we could have done better in the game.
“We have to be pleased to score three goals, all of which came from set-pieces.
“Maybe we just needed an extra corner in the last six minutes of time added on at the end!
“Unfortunately, we could not get it!”
Defeat leaves Sunderland at the bottom of the Premier League table, with Tottenham next up on Saturday.