Stuart Gray felt his Owls side thoroughly deserved their lead before ‘tired minds’ cost them against Manchester City.
Atdhe Nuhiu’s 14th minute finish put Wednesday into a shock lead against the Premier League champions.
But two goals in the second half from birthday boy James Milner – the second of which coming in injury time – put City into the hat for the fourth round.
“Last time we were here we got beat 7-0 – it was 0-0 at half time and they went up a gear and put seven past us,” Gray said.
“It was nice to go in at 1-0 and I think we thoroughly deserved it.
“We had a gameplan to hit them on the break, we frustrated them.
“That goal we got – Stevie May pulled away on the break, pulled it back to Atdhe Nuhiu and it was a great finish.”
The introduction of starry duo Samir Nasri and David Silva just after the hour mark gave City a new edge and was arguably the turning point in the game.
And Gray felt the substitutions showed how much respect City boss Manuel Pellegrini was giving the Owls.
He said: “In the end they have shown us total respect as they put on Silva, Nasri and Clichy.
“It was just tired minds that caught us out.
“They kept the ball in the last 15 minutes.
“When you have tired minds, you can make mistakes unfortunately.”