Sunderland midfielder Luke O’Nien has sent a heartfelt message to the fans after the Black Cats failed to win promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Jack Ross’s side were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic in the play-off final at Wembley over a week ago now but O’Nien is eager to learn from their season disappointments.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday night, he wrote: “Never would have believed this time last year that I would have played at Wembley twice for this great club.
“Defeats like this are tough to take but I thank everyone for the support from day one.
“See you next season.”
O’Nien, who has played most of the season as a right-back, became a fan-favourite over the course of the season after signing from Wycombe Wanderers back in the summer.
He racked up 37 appearances in League One alone and scored five times, assisting a further six for his team mates, as they finished in fifth place.
The play-off defeat was the second of the season for the club at Wembley having been defeated by Portsmouth on penalties back in April in the Checkatrade Trophy final.
This is exactly the right attitude that all the club’s players and fans should have – and it is no real surprise given how positive O’Nien’s performances have been all season.
Sunderland failing to win promotion in such a manner was always going to be disappointing but given where they were a year ago there is no need to get despondent.
A strong summer will easily see them challenging for automatic promotion again and these defeats will seem like a very distant memory.