DENNIS Tueart believes Sunderland are likely to be edged out by Manchester City in this weekend’s Capital One Cup final.
But he also believes that Gus Poyet’s men have an excellent chance of retaining their Premier League status this season.
And he believes that will mark a memorable season for Sunderland fans.
He told the Echo: “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.
“It’s a contrast between the individual skills that Man City have and organised team ethic 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 this 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 and that’s got to be a big help.
“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.”