Lee Burge says becoming a penalty shootout hero was the realisation of a boyhood dream as Sunderland dumped QPR out of the Carabao Cup to reach the quarter-finals.

The game ended goalless at Loftus Road but, while Sunderland were flawless from the spot with Aiden McGeady, Ross Stewart, and Alex Pritchard all converting, QPR failed with three of their four attempts.

Two missed the target altogether, but Burge got the shootout off to a great start from Sunderland's point of view when he saved from Charlie Austin.

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"It was an excellent day, a long day but an excellent day," said the keeper, who came into the side in place of Thorben Hoffmann as Lee Johnson rotated his squad.

"It's what you dream of as a kid going into any penalty shootout and the lads stuck their penalties away very well, so credit to everyone that came on and the subs that came on.

"Obviously a lot of research goes into it [the penalty shootout]. Preecey [goalkeeping coach David Preece] and Thorben have been going through it a lot over the last few days and all day yesterday.

"We have been going through them and it's credit to them and the work that they do as well as what we do.

"We just have to keep doing those things all the time and if you keep learning it's obviously going to pay off."

Almost 2,800 Sunderland fans made the journey to QPR, but they had to watch from afar as the shootout took place at the opposite end of the ground in front of the home supporters.

Burge said: "It was obviously a shame we couldn’t win it in front of our fans but obviously they could see straight down and it was a fantastic night for everyone.

"It was unreal and the atmosphere was brilliant.

"It's what dreams are made of when you come to places like this, big clubs and to play for a big club it's brilliant."

Sunderland will now take their place in the quarter-final draw, and Burge has already picked out which team he wants in the next round.

"I would like Chelsea," he said, "but anyone to be honest and it's just a great occasion to be in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup."

Burge started the season as Sunderland's first-choice keeper but since Hoffmann arrived on deadline day, the German has started every game in the league with Burge restricted to cup outings.

He said: "Unfortunately I had a bit of an injury at the start of the season and Patto [Anthony Patterson] did well when he came in.

"Thorben has been brilliant since he's come in so it's just all competition and at the end of the day we just have to work each other really hard and that's what we have been doing.

"I have to take things off his game and he can hopefully take stuff off my game and that's how you learn and get better. It's enjoyable.

"[The cup run] has been brilliant. Thorben has been brilliant since he’s come in and Patto is doing excellent out on loan [at Notts County].

"We have some really good goalkeepers and everyone drives each other on and we will all be needed at some point in the season.

"However we do, we have to make sure we train ourselves into the ground and make sure we are ready for those Saturday and Tuesday nights."

Sunderland are back in action again this weekend in the league, when they travel to South Yorkshire to face promotion rivals Rotherham United.

Burge said: "We just have to keep it going now going into the league.

"We have some really good young players and the experienced players are driving everyone on week in, week out.

"It's an exciting time, it really is, so we just have to make sure we stay consistent and keep our feet on the ground.

"We know every game is going to be really tough and nobody is going to give us anything so we have to work even harder for it, especially being a club like Sunderland."