Rowell Report: Sunderland must respect Kidderminster Harriers

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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AFTER tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Old Trafford, Sunderland will stay in cup mode when they face Kidderminster in the FA Cup this weekend.

There’s no glory to be gained when you are drawn at home against a non-league club.

All Sunderland can do is get the job done and progress to the next round.

This game is all about Kidderminster, as being a non-league club they have done exceptionally well to get as far as they have.

And every neutral will be rooting for them to beat the Premier League team.

It’s their day.

And the Kidderminster fans and players will, I’m sure, make the most of the occasion.

It’s up to Gus Poyet and Sunderland to make sure their team is not the victim of a giant-killing.

There’s little doubt that Poyet will make changes for this game.

Youngsters Duncan Watmore and El-Hadji Ba made an impact in the last round and it would be no surprise if they feature again, along with other squad players.

It’s easy to forget that Adam Johnson was out of the team before he played against Carlisle United in the last round, where he scored, was man-of-the-match and has never looked back since.

Other players should take notice and follow Johnson’s example if they get the chance on Saturday, as a good performance can put them in the head coach’s plans for future league games.

Whatever team Poyet puts out, he must give total respect to Kidderminster and not under-estimate them.

They beat Peterborough at home to reach round four and will come to the Stadium of Light with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

That’s what makes this tie dangerous, so Sunderland need to be as professional in their approach to this game as any other because anything but a win would be hugely embarrassing and can have a negative and damaging effect on the rest of the season.