GUS POYET admitted conquerors Bradford City deserve “great credit” for booking their place in the FA Cup quarter-final.
While Sunderland were humiliated at Valley Parade in their bid to reach the last eight of the competition for the second season on the spin, victors Bradford were as good as the Black Cats were bad, with the League One outfit thoroughly deserving their 2-0 win.
It was another Premier League scalp for the Bantams, who won at Stamford Bridge in the last round and beat Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan on their way to the League Cup final two years ago.
And Sunderland head coach Poyet was magnanimous enough to give plenty of praise to opposite number Phil Parkinson and his players.
Poyet said: “They deserve all the credit. The good thing about this Bradford team is they didn’t win every game here (at Valley Parade).
“They won at Stamford Bridge against the best team in the league right now, on a great pitch.
“Now they’ve played here and they beat us on this pitch.
“You have to give them plenty of credit for what they do.
“Phil understands what is needed and his team has been doing it. It is a great credit for Phil Parkinson and his boys.”
Valley Parade’s biggest crowd since the 1960s created an old-fashioned cup tie atmosphere, with Bradford responding on the pitch, as they triumphed over Sunderland in the physical battle.
Poyet’s only gripe with the game was referee Kevin Friend’s failure to penalise Bradford skipper Rory McArdle for blatantly sweeping away the legs of Steven Fletcher when he was eight yards out.
“It was a great cup-tie. The kind that we all used to watch on TV a long time ago,” added Poyet.
“There was a great atmosphere, a full stadium, two great sets of fans – there were fights, elbows, cuts, bad decisions from the referee.
“It was a great cup-tie.
“I’m not going to complain about the pitch – we didn’t lose because of the pitch, we lost because when we started the game we lost a goal to an action that can happen in any game of football.
“Then, when we started understanding a little bit how to hurt Bradford, at that moment we needed to score or you need the referee to do his job.
“It was easy. He was in the right position, he saw it, but I can’t do anything about that.
“In the second half it became a bit more open and crazy.
“There weren’t too many chances, but there were plenty of crosses and 50-50s – it was a proper cup tie.
“I don’t think we need to complain, we need to congratulate Bradford for what they have done.”
Meanwhile, Poyet confirmed that striker Jermain Defoe missed out with a calf injury.
Poyet added: “He had a calf injury. I didn’t want to give away too much information though.”