Roy Keane warned his Sunderland team they are not good enough to win just by turning up after seeing them only just avoid Carling Cup humiliation on Tuesday night.
League One Northampton were within seconds of completing a famous third round victory at the Stadium of Light but Anthony Stokes, who had reduced a 2-0 deficit with an 85th-minute strike, headed home the equaliser off the underside of the crossbar in the third minute of stoppage time to take the tie into extra time and, ultimately, penalties.
A furious Keane said: "I think everyone, players and supporters, just thought we were going to win the game without trying, without sprinting."
He added: "It's not like we are like Real Madrid where we can produce one bit of magic."
After Cobblers skipper Mark Hughes and Stokes had traded misses from the spot, Sunderland keeper Marton Fulop kept out Leon Constantine's effort to edge the home side to a win they scarcely deserved.
"The big plus for me since I have been here is our team works its socks off, but we started the game like it was going to be a walk in the park," he said.
"It backfired, and it should have backfired a bit more. How we are in the next round, I will never, ever know."
Asked where the night ranked in his career, Keane said: "It is probably one of the worst.
"I have had some bad nights, bad days - doing my cruciate, sendings off, losing titles, losing cup games.
"This is certainly up there with them. I couldn't wait to see the back of tonight. It was a bad, bad night. Nobody could celebrate, even at the end of the penalty shoot-out. We should be praising Northampton, not Sunderland."
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