MK Dons manager Karl Robinson felt his side could have come out on top against Sunderland but was pleased with the way his players took the game to their Barclays Premier League opponents.
A Capital One Cup upset looked like it could be on the cards when Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole was sent off after 32 minutes, but second-half goals from Craig Gardner and James McClean saw the Black Cats edge the third-round tie at stadium:mk.
"I thought we deserved a little bit more out of the game to be honest and I think most people in the ground would agree with that," said Robinson. "What a wonder goal that was at 0-0 and that took the stuffing out of us.
"We had to go on the front foot, because we have got the man advantage and we were also a goal behind.
"We knew then that if we were going to concede a goal it would be on the break to either (Louis) Saha or McClean because that is the quality they possess."
Robinson was also looking forward to learning from his counterpart and enjoyed pitting himself against a Premier League club.
"We have had four changes and weren't at full strength either," said Robinson.
"I think we played well enough but Sunderland have shown us tremendous respect and I'm looking forward to having a chat with Martin O'Neill and picking his brains so I can improve as a manger as well."