Sunderland’s Poyet hoping to give Man City a surprise

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.

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GUS POYET hopes the postponement of Sunderland’s Premier League clash with Manchester City will give them the element of surprise for the Capital One Cup final.

Poyet was disappointed to see Wednesday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium fall victim to the weather after sensing a chance against the Premier League’s top scorers, who were without several key players.

But the Sunderland boss hopes the Black Cats can use the call-off to their advantage when they face City in the League Cup final, at Wembley, in a fortnight.

Their previous meeting this season came in only Poyet’s fifth game at the helm, with Sunderland developing into a far more resilient and slick outfit over the three subsequent months.

Poyet told the Echo: “There’s a positive and a negative (to the game being called off).

“The negative one is that we didn’t play. We were ready and they had (Sergio) Aguero, (Samir) Nasri and maybe (Vincent) Kompany missing.

“But the positive is that we didn’t play them before the final.

“Now in the final, everything is up in the air.

“It’s going to be a unique game. It could make it extra special.

“They don’t know how we will play the game.

“There are plenty of things that might happen now and it could be a surprise for them.”

There was a sense of regret for Poyet that he missed out on an insight into Sunderland’s progress though.

Sunderland are yet to tackle one of the current top four away from home during Poyet’s stewardship and he will now have to wait until next weekend’s trip to Arsenal.

Poyet added: “I was expecting to learn something from playing Man City and Arsenal away from home. That would have been good.

“But now it’s only Arsenal.

“I think the situation is that we had three away games in a row, but they were the worst that you can have.

“Now we might only play one or two.

“But the thing is to play and win as soon as possible.

“We want to go to the final with a win under our belts, rather than losing two or three games before playing it.”

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