The match, of course, went the full distance on a night of great drama but ultimate disappointment when Middlesbrough won the penalty shoot-out by a 5-4 scoreline after the game finished all square at 1-1.
"They played with terrific spirit and terrific effort," said David afterwards. "I have no problem with their work ethic and they all gave all they had to give."
David and the coaching staff now have the job of ensuring the players pick themselves up again for the Premiership visit of Manchester United on Sunday.
"It is a self motivation thing. Everyone has to work to build themselves up again, that's the way football is. It is not easy, but you have got to cope with the downs."
Meanwhile, David reports that Dean Richards was forced off at half-time with a knee injury.
"Dean has got a very sore knee and we have got one or two others carrying knocks. We shall see where that leaves us and we'll have a roll-call tomorrow."
David Pleat expressed great satisfaction over the commitment displayed by the team in the epic Carling Cup struggle against Middlesbrough on Wednesday.