Anthony Stokes has paid tribute to Sunderland's battling qualities following the Carling Cup victory over Northampton.
The Black Cats only advanced to the next round on penalties after a 2-2 draw and manager Roy Keane was furious with the performance of his players.
He described the experience as 'one of the worst nights of his career' but striker Stokes believes Sunderland deserve some credit for coming from 2-0 down.
Stokes, who has been linked with a loan move to the Championship, grabbed both goals and is now looking forward to the next round.
"It wasn't the best of performances but we won the game and that's the most important thing," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"We didn't start well and we put ourselves in a bad situation but we battled hard, came back as we have done so many times, and won it.
"We're in the draw for the next round and that's what matters.
"Northampton played well against us and were on top of us at certain stages but we showed good character and came back into it."
Stokes missed his penalty in the shootout but he was pleased to play his part with two goals in normal time and delighted with the result.
He said: "The first goal was just a diagonal ball into the box and I got something on it, the second was a great ball by Andy Reid and I managed to get in a strong header - it was a relief when that went in.
"After missing the penalty I wasn't too happy but we won the game and that's all that matters."