Kavanagh: It’s been a huge day for Carlisle

Adam Johnson hits Sunderland's opener against Carlisle. Picture by Kevin Brady

Adam Johnson hits Sunderland's opener against Carlisle. Picture by Kevin Brady

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CARLISLE boss Graham Kavanagh believes his afternoon on Wearside reinforced his belief in the magic of the FA Cup.

He said, after the Cumbrians’ 3-1 defeat to his former club: “It’s huge. It’s so exciting for a club like ourselves to come to a stadium as big as this with a fan-base as big as it is.

“For us then to get behind it because of the location and go and support the game and the team as they have done, and then always to feel that you have that chance of potentially going through and looking to see who you are going to draw...

“When we beat Brentford and the draw was made for Sunderland, the excitement around the city was huge.

“(Aston Villa boss) Paul Lambert has spoken about probably diminishing the FA Cup a little bit.

“I can totally understand where he is coming from as a manager because they need to stay in the Premier League for the financial gains, but the romance of the cup has always been, and will always be fantastic, and I hope we don’t lose that.”