'It's a game we need to manage properly.'
Gus Poyet is looking forward to having a crack at reaching a major final when Sunderland face Manchester United in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.
The Black Cats turned in an excellent performance at home in the first leg earlier this month, beating the Red Devils 2-1 thanks to a Fabio Borini penalty.
It’s a great opportunity to put ourselves in a final but we’ve only done part of the job
- Gus Poyet
Now the action switches to Old Trafford for the return, with a date at Wembley in March awaiting the winners of the tie.
“You don’t get to a semi-final every year – sometimes not even in 10 years,” Poyet told safc.com ahead of the game.
“It’s a great opportunity to put ourselves in a final but we’ve only done part of the job. You never know how much – whether 50% or not – but definitely a part.
“We must go there and try to make sure we finish the job and put ourselves in the final.”
Sunderland head to the north west with the one-goal advantage but Poyet says that will go firmly to the back of the players’ minds in the build-up to the game.
And he is looking for his side to get forward as usual and produce a “complete” performance.
“We’re going to play the game as normal,” he said. “The idea is to play the game and then you make decisions.
We must attack to create chances and score goals. If we score then it will be more difficult for Manchester United
- Poyet looking to get forward
“It’s a game we need to manage properly.
“We need a complete game – we must defend well, be strong and be good on the ball – much better than the other day [against Southampton].
“We must attack to create chances and score goals. If we score then it will be more difficult for Manchester United.”
In trying to reach the club’s first cup final since 1992, Poyet’s side will be backed by 9,000 travelling supporters with every seat quickly snapped up.
And Sunderland’s head coach says the sheer quantity of fans making the trip from the north east adds an extra element to the game.
“It’s going to be great seeing that quantity of fans away from home – it’s a special occasion,” he said.
“The idea is to give them a great day and make them happy.”