Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has said that he does not see the FA Cup as a distraction for his club, but rather as a blessing in disguise. Sunderland will be hosting lower league Kidderminster Town at the Stadium of Light, which is a fixture that they are expected to comfortably win. However, the last few weeks have been very hectic for the manager in terms of the schedule. He says that the match against Kidderminster provides a great opportunity to rest some of the players and give those who have not taken part much in the campaign.
Sunderland will be coming on the back of a morale boosting 2-1 win over Manchester United on penalties. This Capital One Cup win has given them the chance to play in the final of the competition at Wembley. They will face Manchester City in this final, but it seems that Sunderland are also planning on reaching the FA Cup final as well. Even though Poyet has said that he will be using reserve players, he says that the desire to win has not diminished amongst the squad.
After two wins over Salisbury and Peterborough United, Kidderminster were beaten by Dartford 2-1 in the previous match. They will be hoping for a better performance and a return to winning ways in the match against Sunderland.
“The cup win over Manchester United was amazing. But the game against Kidderminster shows how fast things are coming around – Wednesday: Man United, Saturday: Kidderminster. Personally, I think it’s a good thing to have a cup game now. I would have been a bit more worried had we had a league game this weekend. It was such a high for the players on Wednesday and there has not been much rest for the players, so we could easily have been caught out,” said Poyet, who will be without Dossena for this match.
The nightmare season continues rolling on for David Moyes with this being his 1st time in charge of Manchester United and has already lost the chance on retaining the Premier League title as well as being eliminated from the FA Cup and more recently from the Capital One Cup.
Sunderland and Manchester United faced off on a dramatic semifinals match that had to conclude on penalties as the aggregate score was 3-3 after extra time was added on.
During the 1st leg when both sides had already battled it off, Sunderland ended the match with a slight lead as the match finished with a 2-1 scoreboard after goals from Fabio Borini and an own goal from Ryan Giggs cancelled out Nemanja Vidic’s goal.
Manchester United went into the 2nd and final match of their Capital One Cup match having to overcome a 1 goal deficit and they did just that as Jonny Evans found the back of the net during the 1st half which forced the match to continue going on into extra time.
In the added time, Sunderland once more took the lead after Phil Bardsley fired a shot from over 19 yards which arrived into the legs of David de Gea but the Spanish goalkeeper could not control the ball and it just entered the back of his own net, it was a disastrous mistake which gave Sunderland the advantage.
United responded with Javier Chicharito as he scored from a close range effort forcing the encounter to finish on a penalty shoot-out.
The last 2 shots that decided the penalties rested on the hands of Adam Johnson as his shot was saved by David de Gea and later it was Rafael who had the chance to push Manchester United to victory but Sunderland’s goalkeeper Mannone saved it and ultimately claimed the triumph.
Sunderland now has to meet with Manchester City at Wembley on March 2nd in order to play the finals of the Capital One Cup.
Having only made 2 appearances for Sunderland since his free transfer in September and later receiving a red card, speculations are starting to grow concerning the future of Andrea Dossena.
Andrea Dossena’s agent Roberto La Florio hinted at a possible move back to Italy.
“We took the opportunity of Sunderland, but I do not exclude that he can return to Italy soon.” Dossena said to the media.
Sunderland’s head coach also stated that even when his ban from the red card is over, he does not have a secured position in the main team. Cattermole was also sent off during the match as he received another red card that left his team with a big numeric difference.
Gus Poyet replaced them with Ki Sung-Yeung and Ondrej Celustka during their last 2 encounters and after making impressive performances in both matches, this makes the decision of Poyet on who to place in those positions much more difficult and the future of Dossena unclear as he might not be needed in the English club.
Poyet told the Echo: “If someone gets sent off, they have three games out and someone steps in and the team starts winning, then it’s a problem for the other guy.
“Now, if he comes in and only does OK and you don’t win, then it’s easy for the other one to come back but obviously it depends on who is missing too’’.
“If you get Ronaldo sent off, it doesn’t matter how the other guy does. He’s playing when he’s back. But you balance everything and I try to do that before making a ‘daft’ call.”
The 41 years old Uruguayan coach of Sunderland was hinting at all the positions in his squad that are up for grabs with no player having a secured as he still needs time to check all the possible options available for his starting XI.