GUS Poyet will turn to the appliance of science to find out why his Jekyll and Hyde side excel in the cups but flop in the league.
To the scalps of Southampton and Chelsea, Sunderland added Premier League champions Manchester United last night with a 2-1 win in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
And the Black Cats’ head coach – confident that coincidence is not at play here – has vowed to scrutinise in detail what it is that Sunderland are doing in one competition that is different from the other.
“There is something there in terms of how we play better in the cup and better against the top teams.
“It is not just a coincidence – if it happened once, yes; twice, maybe, but three times, no, it is more than a coincidence.
“SoI will analyse what we are doing right in the cups and wrong in the league.
“I will sit down with computers and we will go through it bit by bit, moment by moment, to see if it might be a formation, or a player, or a position.
“But I definitely think we can learn something from the success we’ve had in the cups.
“It’s a mystery as to why we keep winning and beating top teams in the cup but not the league.
“It is my job to find that – it could be anything but I will scrutinise the footage and the computer feedback.”
The analysis was for later in the week though, immediately after the match, Poyet just wanted to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done and a great night for him, his players and Sunderland fans.
“I’m pleased with the performance,” he said.
“We made it difficult for them and that’s all we wanted to do – then we needed something to happen in our favour, something to run for us in a tight game.
“We could have got a draw or a defeat because it was close but we played well enough to keep ourselves in it and give us a chance.
“For a moment - the penalty – on another day you don’t get it.
“But it was a clumsy bit of play and it would have been a foul in the middle of the park.
“Sometimes they go for you, sometimes they go against.
“When it goes against you, it is tough, and I understand United’s frustration, but when it goes for you?
“You are happy.
“And I’m happy with what has been another good cup win and another good night for the club.”