Sunderland gave fans the effort they have been craving despite their 3-1 Bank Holiday home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, says boss Chris Coleman.
The Black Cats, who had won only their sixth league game of the season against Derby on Good Friday, failed to back up that display with another victory.
Defeat left second-bottom Sunderland five points behind Birmingham City, the team above the relegation places.
"Our supporters clapped the lads off," Coleman told BBC Newcastle.
"They do recognise when they see a team doing their best, we've been booed off here at times this season and rightly so.
"The endeavour was there, we played without fear and what cost us was two mistakes.
"But they were clapped off and they deserved it because there wasn't much more that they can do."
Sunderland have just six games left to save themselves from dropping into League One and are next in action away at Leeds United on Saturday.