Martin O'Neill

Boss pleased with cup draw

by Stuart Vose

O’Neill relishing local derby.

Martin O’Neill says he’s delighted to be handed another cup assignment versus old foes Middlesbrough.

O’Neill faced the Teessiders twice last season in the FA Cup with Budweiser as Sunderland eventually prevailed following a replay.

Now the north-east rivals will clash again in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup at the Stadium of Light on October 30.

Sunderland saw off MK Dons to set up the tie, while Championship side Boro beat Preston North End to progress.

“It’s almost like a reunion!” O’Neill joked. “I was delighted to see us first out in the draw, hence a home tie.

“It’s a big game, a local derby and it’s really exciting for both clubs.

“We had two good, close games last year and I’m expecting the same this time.

“Middlesbrough are really picking up and are going strongly in the league, so I’m expecting a strong game.”