SEB LARSSON insists Sunderland are eager to put right their dismal recent FA Cup record by safely navigating the fourth round Wear-Tees derby.
Sunderland have not gone beyond the fourth round of the competition since 2004, when Mick McCarthy led the then Championship Black Cats to the semi-finals.
But with a home tie against Championship Middlesbrough awaiting in the fourth round later this month, Sunderland have every chance of advancing, even if the Teessiders will be desperate to take the bragging rights.
Larsson said: “We are all desperate to get a cup run. From what I’ve heard the club hasn’t had a cup run lately and the manager was desperate for us to go through.
“It’s an appetising game and the fans will be excited. It’s nice to get a home tie and it will be another testing game for us.
“It’s the kind of game that you look forward to as you want to step up to the plate and show what you can do.
“I have no doubt that Middlesbrough will be well up for the game but so will we and we have a good chance of winning.”
Sunday’s third round victory at Peterborough marked a third successive win for the Black Cats, who head to faltering Chelsea on Saturday.
Sunderland have lost just once in Martin O’Neill’s seven games in charge – taking 13 Premier League points and achieving a comfortable victory in the FA Cup.
Swedish international Larsson added: “It has been a brilliant start under him. We have climbed the league, we have won a tricky cup tie and confidence is high.
“It’s exactly what we wanted and hopefully we can keep that going now.
“The main thing is that he has restored a lot of confidence in us and I think that has shown on the pitch.”