Rowell Report: Cup thrill will banish Sunderland’s fatigue

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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IN A season when Sunderland have been so disappointing and delivered so little in the Premier League, the Capital One Cup is the tournament which just keeps giving.

This campaign gets increasingly bizarre and somehow we find ourselves in the semi-final of a major cup competition.

Jose Mourinho thinks Chelsea should have killed Sunderland off after they went ahead and it’s true they had chances to do that.

But when they didn’t take them, Sunderland sensed they could get back in it and perseverance paid off in the end.

The last time we played in the League Cup against Southampton, we followed it up with a win against Manchester City and there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t do that again when we play Norwich on Saturday.

Supporters will be worried about fatigue, but a lot of the time, tiredness is a state of mind.

It’s not just a myth or cliché, you don’t feel as tired when you’re on a run.

Had Sunderland lost after extra-time, they would be feeling far more exhausted than they are now.

Mentally, they have had an adrenaline rush and that gives you energy.

I can imagine the dressing room being hyper after the game.

Gus Poyet couldn’t have wished for a bigger impact from his substitutions, with the lively Fabio Borini grabbing the equaliser and then Ki Sung-Yeung sending the fans delirious when he scored the winner.

My man of the match, though, has to be Lee Cattermole, who proved he has more to his game than just protecting the back four with his intelligent use of the ball in a mature and disciplined performance.

This week and the semi-final place that goes with it has got to be a huge boost for players and fans and we’ve got to take that feel good factor into this weekend’s crucial league game.