CARLOS Cuellar believes Sunderland have found the right way to play after a heartening but ultimately fruitless trip to Goodison Park.
Adam Johnson became the first Black Cats player to score since September 29, but second-half efforts from Everton’s Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic condemned them to a third consecutive loss.
“We have to keep going that way, because the performance was one of the best so far this season,” said the Spaniard, who played his part in a good defensive display.
“We gained a lot of confidence from playing like that and creating a lot of chances.
“We never lost confidence. We keep training hard, we keep trying to play that style of football.
“We were fine in the first half, we played well, we created chances and deserved to score a few more goals.
“The players are still positive. We can go forward and get better as we are playing good football.
“People are going to think we will struggle, but inside the dressing room we’re confident.
“We were very unlucky not to pick up a point or three against one of the tough teams. We’re focused on winning. We deserved to win.
“You watch the performance and you think, we’ve lost so we were disappointing, that’s not the case.
“Inside we know we deserved more. Once one win comes, more will follow.
“We believe in the team and we know how good we can be.
“We attacked well in the first half, had two one-on-ones, controlled the ball well, but in the second half they came into it.
“We expected that, they’re playing at home, we had to defend more, try to keep a clean sheet, but they pushed forward.”
Cuellar added: “If you saw the game you cannot say we deserved to lose. The performance was great.
“They scored two goals but that was about it. There were balls into the box but they didn’t cause us problems. “Simon (Mignolet, Sunderland’s keeper) would come, punch and take the ball without problems.”
Cuellar had a rare second-half chance for Sunderland, only to hit team-mate Craig Gardner, who was unable to get out of the way.
He said: “We didn’t have time to speak to each other, we both went for it and unfortunately it hit Craig.”