Tueart: Sunderland players must grab shot at glory

Former Sunderland and Manchester City player Dennis Tueart holding the Capital One Trophy at the Stadium of Light.
Former Sunderland and Manchester City player Dennis Tueart holding the Capital One Trophy at the Stadium of Light.
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DENNIS Tueart says he will love reliving old memories at Wembley this weekend where he will be an ambassador for the Capital One Cup.

The former England winger tasted double cup glory in his career, having won the FA Cup with Sunderland in 1973 and the League Cup with Manchester City in 1976.

Tueart’s spectacular overhead kick winner for the Blues against Newcastle United at Wembley 38 years ago was recently voted the best moment in the competition’s history.

And Tueart says that the same chance for glory will fall to Sunderland’s players this weekend.

“A cup final is always special, no matter who you are, and you’ve just got to look to take your chance,” Tueart told the Echo.

“A football career seems can seem like a lifetime when you’re living it, but it is only short – eight, 10 or, if you’re lucky, 12 years at the top – and you have to make the most of it.

“Those cup finals have given me amazing memories and I’m going to love being at Wembley this weekend, like the fans themselves and I really hope everyone has a great day.

“Of course, it is all about winning, but just reaching a cup final is an achievement and this Sunday players who are not there would love to swap places with Sunderland’s players and supporters who are not there would love to swap places with Sunderland’s too.”

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, Tueart reckons that City are likely to have the advantage this weekend, but he still firmly believes Sunderland’s season can be a success whatever happens.

“It’s a difficult call for me because I’ve got so much feeling for both the clubs and their supporters – the North East and the North West,” said the Tynesider, who was at Sunderland from 1966-74 and City from 1974-78.

“It’s a contrast between the individual skills that Man City have and the organised team ethic of Sunderland.

“I didn’t think Sunderland would get past Man United in the semi-final, but they showed a fantastic attitude and desire to do so.

“They need to show that in the final against City and if they do – well, Wigan showed in the FA Cup final against City last year that it can be done.

“But, if I had to be pushed, I would think City will shade it.

“Having said that, I watched Sunderland in the league against Manchester City when Sunderland won that day.

“And I’ve also read that Gus has said that, apart from Keiren Westwood, he’s now at full strength.

“That’s got to be a big help.

“So I think Sunderland have got what it takes to stay up, and after such a bad start, if they do stay up and can have the memory of reaching a League Cup final at Wembley, then they’ll be able to put that down as a successful season.”

H Dennis Tueart was speaking on behalf of Capital One, the credit card company and sponsors of the League Cup.

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