Poyet bemused by early FA Cup draw – before Sunderland’s Carlisle tie

Jozy Altidore congratulates El-Hadji Ba after he made it 3-1 for Sunderland against Carlisle. Picture by Kevin Brady

Jozy Altidore congratulates El-Hadji Ba after he made it 3-1 for Sunderland against Carlisle. Picture by Kevin Brady

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Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has questioned the decision to hold the draw for the FA Cup fourth round before several third-round ties have been completed.

The 46-year-old Uruguayan guided his side past League One Carlisle with a 3-1 victory at the Stadium of Light this afternoon, but knew before half-time that the victors would face either Kidderminster or Peterborough in the next round.

Poyet was not unduly concerned by the situation, but wondered what might have happened had the draw paired the winners with one of the Barclays Premier League’s giants.

He said: “I don’t know if it’s a good idea. It’s an opinion - I don’t want the FA to get mad with me because I’m not trying to go against anyone.

“I’m just saying if the draw was a top, top team from the Premier League at home, I am sure that Carlisle in the second half, maybe it would be a little bit different.

“If it’s a replay, well there is no option, the draw has to be done. But with games still to be played, I don’t know why they don’t wait until tonight or tomorrow morning.

“If you are 1-1 at half-time and you get Arsenal at home and you are Carlisle, what a second half they are going to give you, that’s for sure.

“If you are listening, please...it’s just my opinion.”

Poyet’s comments came at the end of a better afternoon for the Black Cats as they secured a comfortable victory, their fifth in cup competitions so far this season, as opposed to just three in the league.

Adam Johnson’s sumptuous 33rd-minute free-kick handed them the lead, but it lasted just nine minutes as boyhood Sunderland fan Matty Robson lashed home a shot off the underside of the crossbar with Wes Brown unable to clear on the line.

However, the home side needed just five minutes of the second half to regain their advantage when Carlisle skipper Sean O’Hanlon turned Johnson’s firm cross past goalkeeper Greg Fleming, and substitute El-Hadji Ba’s last-minute strike wrapped up the win.