Former Everton star makes ‘more pressure’ claim ahead of Luton Town v Sunderland
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The Black Cats will take a narrow advantage into their play-off semi-final second leg against the Hatters after a stunning free-kick from Amad Diallo and a Trai Hume header helped Tony Mowbray’s men come from behind and claim a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
A second consecutive Wembley play-off final is now potentially just 90 minutes away as all focus turns towards Tuesday night’s meeting at Kenilworth Road. The compact nature of the Hatters home will mean Rob Edwards’ side will be able to apply more pressure on to Sunderland according to Hinchcliffe - but the former England left-back has insisted the Black Cats are more than capable of rising to the challenge and setting up a Wembley date with either Coventry City or Middlesbrough.
He told Sky Sports: “You don’t get this far and have this opportunity to just say it doesn’t really matter, we’ve had a great season anyway because how long before Sunderland have the opportunity to get back in the Premier League again. So you don’t pass it up and they won’t pass it up because they’re a young and fearless team that Tony will take to Kenilworth Road, which will be a tough game for them.
“They’ll be under more pressure than at home, the ground is smaller and tighter and I think Luton can put more pressure on them. But they can just play, and if they can defend really well, which they did in the first leg, and then get (Amad) Diallo, (Patrick) Roberts and (Jack) Clarke on the ball, they just love to play and they’re a lovely, attractive team and I expect them to play that way.
“The pressure is still on them because there’s a chance of getting to Wembley and getting back to the Premier League.”