Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill was struggling to come to terms with another season without silverware after the Black Cats marked the 40th anniversary of their FA Cup triumph with a tame defeat to Bolton.
Two second-half goals from Marvin Sordell sent the npower Championship side through to an FA Cup fourth round clash with Everton and left O'Neill to look ahead to a gruelling battle to secure his side's top-flight future.
O'Neill said: "The fact it is 40 years since we've won a trophy is far too long. We enjoyed a really good run last season and put some big results together in January and February, then we played Everton and were disappointing - but that was a quarter-final.
"Here we had the opportunity to play Everton again and we didn't take it and it is really disappointing.
"We're going to have to get it (consistency). This is a big club and we shouldn't be spending 40 years without winning something, we really shouldn't."
O'Neill named his strongest available side for the Stadium of Light replay in contrast to his Bolton counterpart Dougie Freedman, who made six changes from his side's draw with Millwall.
The hosts dominated the first period with Bolton keeper Andrew Lonergan twice pulling off good saves to deny Adam Johnson, while the visitors managed to offer precious little in response.
Craig Gardner almost put the home side in front from a free-kick early in the second half, but just as Sunderland's frustrations began to mount so Freedman's side seized the initiative.
Sordell wasted a golden opportunity following an errant clearance by Simon Mignolet, but the Trotters took the lead in the 64th minute when Sordell converted a penalty after Darren Pratley was fouled by Jack Colback in the box.
Despite a double Sunderland substitution, the visitors increased their lead 10 minutes later when Chris Eagles threaded a fine ball to Tyrone Mears who squared for Sordell to force his second under Mignolet.
Delighted Freedman said: "We're looking forward to it (Everton). We feel right now that we can perform against anyone, and if we defend like we did tonight and keep our discipline, we have definitely got every chance.
"We had a game plan tonight and I felt we stuck to it. I think we defended very well and made sure in the first 60 minutes we limited Sunderland to a few opportunities.
"We grew into the game with our passing and ability to control the ball, and over the 90 minutes I felt we deserved to win the match."