Luke O'Nien thanked Sunderland supporters for their Wembley support and says he will never forget the atmosphere they created.
The Black Cats suffered penalty heartbreak against Porstmouth but O'Nien said the 'incredible' support made it a 'very special day'.
"I just want to thank our fans," he said.
"They came in incredible numbers. They were fantastic. They made it a very special day. The result didn't go the way we wanted it to but I will always remember the atmosphere they gave us.
"They surprise me every day. They are incredible. They are special fans and it is a real pleasure to be a part of."
O'Nien said the result was 'tough to take' but added that the squad would have to use it as motivation for the rest of the campaign.
The trip to Accrington Stanley on Wednesday starts a hectic run-in for the Black Cats as they chase Barnsley in second place.
"It was very hard to take," O'Nien said.
"It's only just sinking in now. But the game is done now, credit to Portsmouth. We have got a game on Wednesday, a quick turnover. So we have to change focus to that.
"We are going to go back now and see the family and then we just regroup. We have got a hell of a squad and we will use this as fuel for the rest of our season now."