Luke O’Nien is looking forward to fulling a lifelong dream when Sunderland travel to Wembley stadium this weekend.
On Sunday, Jack Ross’ side will lock horns with promotion rivals Portsmouth for the Checkatrade Trophy crown.
The full-back, who netted in the Black Cats’ 3-1 defeat at Fratton Park back in December – which was the last time the Lads lost 19 matches ago – shared his excitement ahead of the cup final, admitting it will be an occasion to savour.
O’Nien, 24, also heralded the depth of Sunderland’s squad with two big goals still to play for at the business end of the season.
“I’ve only been [to Wembley] as a spectator, I’ve never set foot on the pitch so for me it will be a dream come true to play there,” he said.
“For my family and my friends and for everyone in the area it will be a special occasion.
“I know a lot of people booked hotels while we were in the semis, maybe even the quarters, so it was big for the area.
“It will be a sell-out so it will be a good day for the club and our job is to go out onto the pitch and deliver.
“We’ve got a hell of a squad here and we’ll need everybody for the final push between now and the end of the season,” he continued.
“We’ve had a lot of games recently so psychologically it might benefit us that we’ve got a little rest and we can flip that and say we’ve got an advantage over everyone else in having a little rest and putting the pressure on them to pull away from us.
“Promotion is very much in our hands if we keep winning games we’ll be in a good position.”