Gary Johnson: Cup fever arrives on Wearside – can we dare to dream?

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Last season cup competitions not only lifted everyone on Wearside and made the fans starved of any success dare to dream, but it also installed a new sense of confidence into the players as they secured safety against all the odds.

Could Gus be looking to the FA Cup this season to help lift the gloom around the North East after a poor start to the season? After his players ran out 3-1 winners against Fulham last night, everyone is buzzing about the cup and looking forward to the next game against Swansea in the Premiership this weekend.

I remember last season when the cup fever started to materialise after the Southampton game and we snatched a dramatic late winner against Chelsea thanks to Ki Sung-Yueng in the quarters. Looking back at the results in the league around when the amazing cup run took place it just proves how important a cup run really was for Sunderland AFC.

Once we beat Chelsea on December 17 and then went on to beat Manchester United over two legs in January, we only lost once in the league against Aston Villa. So during the cup run we managed only one defeat in eight games, and who says the cup doesn’t make a difference?

Gus Poyet said today that confidence is crucial to his players and with two back to back victories he will be heading into the next game at the Liberty Stadium in a much more buoyant mood.

Everyone will be hoping to grab a ticket at Valley Parade on Valentine’s day weekend but there will be no love lost as Bradford look to shock another big name in the famous competition. Let’s hope we roll past Bradford as this will not just mean a step closer to Wembley but also, if last seasons trends continue, more victories in the league to send us towards mid table safety.

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