David Moyes claimed Manchester United are "having to play" the referees as well as the opposition following his side's 2-1 defeat at Sunderland.
Moyes believes several decisions wrongly went against his side, most notably when Adam Johnson was awarded a penalty just after the hour mark after going down under pressure from Tom Cleverley, with Fabio Borini scoring from the spot.
Referee Andre Marriner's decision to award the spot-kick drew the ire of Moyes, whose side slipped to their third successive defeat for the first time since 2001.
A clearly upset Moyes said: "We're having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It's really terrible, it really is. We're actually beginning to laugh at them."
While Borini ensured Sunderland have a narrow advantage heading into the second leg at Old Trafford, Moyes was unequivocal when asked whether he felt any pressure to reach the final.
"None whatsoever," he said. "This is a two-legged game and I'm actually really looking forward to this second leg now."
The United boss felt his side were unlucky to come away from Wearside with a defeat.
"The players deserved it because they did well enough to get a result," he said.
"We'll do everything we can to try and get it right. The players put in a strong performance, it just didn't quite come off.
"But it's not far away and it's coming, I can sense it.
Moyes could not call upon strike duo Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie due to injury and the Scot is hopeful they will be available in the return leg.