Reece James reveals why he feels Sunderland have a 'massive' opportunity in the Checkatrade Trophy

Reece James wants Sunderland to seize a 'massive' opportunity when they continue their Checkatrade Trophy campaign this evening.

Monday, 3rd December 2018, 2:44 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd December 2018, 2:45 pm
Reece James feels Sunderland have a 'massive' opportunity

The Black Cats welcome Notts County to the Stadium of Light (7:45pm kick-off), looking to take another step on the road to the final.

And James is keen to see his side progress as he eyes a first ever trip to Wembley.

"Obviously, any player wants to play at Wembley so I think there's no denying that we want to carry on in that competition," he admitted..

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"If there's a chance to play at Wembley, everyone wants to play there.

"You don't often get that chance. When that comes, you want to do your best to get there."

But not everyone is of the same opinion as the former Manchester United full-back.

While Jack Ross is keen for his side to advance in the competition, James' previous bosses have focused solely on securing promotion from League One.

That means the knockout stages are unfamiliar territory for the 25-year-old. but he is well aware of the 'massive' opportunity presented at this stage - with a trip to the national stadium potentially just four games away.

"The previous two managers I've been under didn't really want to progress, they wanted to concentrate more on the league because they knew how intense the schedules could be," James added.

"I've never really got past the knockout stages in the competition before.

"But it's nice to now and once you're already through it now, you want to go all the way to the end.

"I think it would be good for the club to win a trophy, other than the league potentially, it would be nice for the fans to have something for the fans to celebrate.

"Any boy wants to play at Wembley. When you're watching England play there, just to go and have a chance to play there and have a chance of winning a trophy there is massive."

While Wembley is a long-term goal, the Checkatrade Trophy can offer some short-term gains to the Black Cats too.

Ross' side will have the opportunity to build on their 15-game unbeaten run when the Magpies visit Wearside, while it also gives fringe players the chance to prove their worth ahead of a hectic run of fixtures.

And James is keen to see the momentum built ahead of some testing league fixtures.

"We want to keep building momentum with an unbeaten run," he said.

"That's what we want to do and that's what we can do.

"It doesn't matter who plays, everyone will give it their best because anyone who plays well on Tuesday night could be playing again on Saturday.