Lee Johnson explains how Sunderland's 'relentless' schedule is helping ahead of Wembley trip

Lee Johnson says Sunderland’s ‘relentless’ schedule is helping his side stay focused – despite a Wembley final on the horizon.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:45 pm

The Black Cats travel to the national stadium to face Tranmere Rovers in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy on Sunday, March 14.

But the side have two more League One games to play before that point, with Johnson saying the hectic nature of the third tier campaign – which has been made even busier by COVID-related postponements and cup progression – means focus is merely on the task at hand, rather than a trip to Wembley.

Indeed, the only mention of the final has been to Sunderland’s under-23 squad, who Johnson has challenged to earn a place in his squad for the big day.

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Lee Johnson explains how Sunderland's 'relentless' schedule is helping ahead of Wembley trip

And while the busy schedule could prove draining ahead of the final, the head coach says the positive results of late have actually helped in ‘energizing’ his squad rather than anything else.

"We haven’t even mentioned Wembley to be honest – apart from me to the Under-23s,” said Johnson.

"That’s just the way it is. There’s so much to work on in terms of preparing correctly for the next game.

"You can’t cut corners, this is relentless for the manager, for the analyst, for the opposition scout, for the players, for the physio, and the good thing is we’re winning games and therefore we’re enjoying it.

"It doesn’t become a slog, you’re energized by the three points. That’s what we need as much as possible.”

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