Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has insisted that he is proud of his players despite their 2-1 defeat to Sunderland last night.
Lukas Jutkiewicz was able to find the back of the net and force extra time after Sunderland's Jack Colback broke the deadlock prior to the break. However, Boro were unable to prevent Stephane Sessegnon from bagging a late winner.
"I am proud of the players but the over-riding emotion is one of disappointment," he said.
"We have a disappointed dressing room because we felt there was a way to get through tonight but we didn't find a way to do it.
"If we find a way of getting out of the Championship there is no doubt in my mind that we could compete in the Premier League."
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are nine points adrift of first place in the league, but remain in playoff position.