DEFEAT rankled with Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio yesterday, and not just because his side got so close to a point at White Hart Lane.
Gareth Bale’s 89th-minute winner for Tottenham was a piece of sublime genius – the only thing separating the two sides at the end of an absorbing match.
But it was typical of the Italian’s pride that he didn’t just want to earn praise for 90 minutes of rearguard action.
He wanted Sunderland to get stuck into Spurs’ defence – even though he comprehended that the visitors lacked the quality players to do so.
Hearing his players praised by the Press for their dogged performances, he smiled: “You are very generous,” before adding. “I just wanted to see a little more attacking quality from us.
“In terms of discipline, desire, commitment, I can have no complaints.
“My players, they gave everything, so I told them afterwards to remember it was only Gareth Bale that was the difference – you have to appreciate a goal of that quality.
“My frustration comes from the fact we did not have the team to cause more problems to the opposition.
“Coming here with only 11 adult players and six kids on the bench – it was never going to be enough.
“We did very, very well in some areas, but I wanted to damage Spurs more than we did and I thought, with a bit more quality, we might well have done that.
“But I have to say that, overall, I can only be happy that we worked so hard and almost got a point.”