Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis believes the side showed overdue resilience by earning a goalless draw at Manchester United - on the night their relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship was confirmed.
Davis was in inspired form to keep United at bay and leave them six points behind Barclays Premiership leaders Chelsea, who play Bolton tomorrow.
Davis told Sky PremPlus: 'We felt we were more than capable of doing this in a lot of games this season, United had a lot of chances but it was our night tonight.
'We knew it was important to get to half-time, keep a clean sheet, then keep two banks of four in the second half.'
Black Cats caretaker boss Kevin Ball was impressed by his side's efforts at Old Trafford and admitted his team could even have nicked a win.
'The way they played tonight was magnificent, we didn't come to make up the numbers, we came to have a go and everyone who saw this match tonight would have seen that,' Ball said.
'I have to say every one of them was superb and there were opportunities for us to have won the game, and everyone of them needs commending.
'There were opportunities, we got forward and played some good football. But our defending was very disciplined. We have to build on that performance, we've got five massive games and we need to build now for the future. The main thing now is to prepare right for Monday (when they face Newcastle).'
Sunderland skipper Gary Breen added: 'It has been a difficult season but we showed character tonight, it was a bit too much for the players this year but I'm sure they will come back and prove themselves as Premiership players.
'With a bit more luck we could have won the game and I'm delighted we have put on a performance to make the fans proud of us.
'My message to the fans is just one of thanks. Their support has been fantastic and that's not the first time they've sung their hearts out despite us not getting the best results.'