Birmingham boss Alex McLeish was in philosophical mood after seeing his side exit the Carling Cup following a 2-0 defeat against Sunderland.
Goals from Jordan Rhodes and Frazier Campbell condemned Blues to the defeat after McLeish rested seven of his key men for the trip to Wearside.
He said: "Such are the injuries we have suffered that I couldn't risk people, I just couldn't risk one or two players who I really need at top sharpness for the weekend.
"We would love to win the Carling Cup, don't get me wrong. Our supporters would love to see some semblance or a wee chink of going to Wembley.
"But at the moment, we are still a work in progress and I don't have as strong a squad as I would like to have. But we are building towards that."