Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was proud of his players in their Capital One Cup defeat at Sunderland.
Bentley was delighted with the way his players had responded to the challenge of taking on a side including Adam Johnson, fellow new boy Steven Fletcher and the other big names at O'Neill's disposal.
He said: "It was great. That's what the lads wanted to play against. It's always nice as a footballer to pit your wits against the best in the business.
"They have got an unbelievable amount of quality - the two new signings and Louis Saha, who's a bit of a hero of mine being an Evertonian, coming off the bench as well.
"They put a really, really strong side out and we acquitted ourselves well and gave them a good game."