SUNDERLAND do not plan an open-top bus parade on their return to the city - even if they win the League Cup trophy this weekend.
The decision was taken by the club with the full backing of head coach Gus Poyet who is happy to turn his attention immediately towards the FA Cup quarter-final the following weekend and then the battle for Premier League survival.
An open-top bus parade was held after Sunderland’s FA Cup final defeat in 1992, with Malcolm Crosby’s players saluted by fans in an unforgettable show of support as the open-top bus made its way from Belmont through Houghton and the city of Sunderland to Seaburn.
And many would have liked the chance to show similar appreciation to Poyet’s players this time around.
But the circumstances were different then - it was the last game of the season and the game was played on a Saturday, allowing planning for Sunday’s parade.
Tomorrow’s game is a Sunday, making planning difficult for a parade.
And on top of that there’s the more difficult problem to overcome these days that many of Sunderland’s squad are full internationals and will leave after the Wembley final to join up with their countries for games being played next week..
Open-top bus parades are always fantastic occasions for players, staff and fans and no-one would deny Sunderland deserve one for reaching this year’s final; even more so should they win it!
But Poyet is happy for himself and his players to continue focusing purely on the games in hand.
“An open-top bus parade?” he said. “I don’t even want to plan if we do win.
“I just want to make sure we do something important for the club, the chairman, (who nobody talks about), and for the fans who have waited so long.
“And I want it to give us an extra incentive in the league too..
“The other way - people say what happens if you lose?
“But we play a cup game the week after, so it’s not that bad.
“It’s not like it’s the end of the world if we lose - we can recover.
“The cup final at Wembley is massive for us but it is not the end, we will move on quickly.”
An open-top bus parade therefore will have to wait - although there is potentially the FA Cup to factor in!
H Check out Monday’s Sunderland Echo for extensive coverage of the Capital One Cup Final.