PLAYING in a Wembley defeat felt even worse for John Lundstram than watching Oxford United losing in last season’s final.

The midfielder returned to the national stadium determined to make amends after sitting out the 3-2 defeat to Barnsley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy 12 months ago with a suspension.

Lundstram went to sleep on Saturday night thinking about leading United up the steps as the victorious skipper, but instead Coventry City were celebrating after securing a 2-1 victory.

For the 23-year-old, there was no doubt which hurt the most.

“I’ve got to say this is worse,” he said. “I’m absolutely devastated.

“I visualised last night coming here, getting the win and lifting the trophy.

“It wasn’t to be and I’m gutted.”

It was the same for Chris Maguire, who this time got his wish to start the game after only featuring as a substitute against Barnsley.

He said: “It does hurt more because last year we were underdogs and this year people were putting us as favourites, but it was an even game.

“I thought we started brightly, but didn’t punish them and they got the first goal and scored again in the second half, which made it more difficult.

“It was a big occasion, we saw that with the crowd and we were confident we could go one further and win it this year.

“But we’ve got that sick feeling again and it’s disappointing, especially when we know we were not really outdone in the game.”

Lundstram saw plenty of the ball as United dominated possession for long spells, without causing Coventry too many issues.

A failure to make the most of such a position, coupled with the concession of cheap goals, was an all-too familiar scenario for the U’s captain.

He said: “We dominated play in the middle of the pitch, but it doesn’t count.

“What you do in both boxes counts and they did it better than us.

“They’ve won the game so you have to give them credit, but we’re our own downfall again.

“We gave two sloppy goals away, which seems to be the story of our season.

“If we had stopped doing that in the early part of the season we’d be comfortably in the play-off positions.

“We’ve dominated a lot of games this year and what’s let us down is the way we’ve given away sloppy goals.”