'Not one bit': Alex Neil's clear message as Sunderland head for another Wembley showdown

Alex Neil says Sunderland face a difficult challenge against Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley but insists there will no concerns over a play-off curse.

By Phil Smith
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 2:24 pm

The Black Cats have never won promotion by winning the play-offs but Neil batted away suggestions that would be playing on supporter’s minds ahead of the game.

The head coach pointed to Patrick Roberts’ stoppage-time winner at Hillsborough on Monday night as further evidence of the belief growing right across the club.

He knows the scale of the challenge ahead against Gareth Ainsworth’s side, but says he will be confident in his group.

Alex Neil celebrates Sunderland's win

“I don't think our fans will think that [not again] one bit,” Neil said.

“The belief they've got in this team, the run that we've been on, the fact that we keep scoring late goals and coming back.

“The determination that we have in this group, I think our fans believe in this team and believe that we'll go to Wembley and do everything we can to win the game.

“I'll be confident and they'll be confident, but we know that we need to go and deliver.

“Wycombe are a difficult team, I watched them on Sunday night and they dig in, they grind and they do everything to get a result. We're going to have to do likewise.

“But first of all, I want to have a couple of days rest, see my kids, recover.

“Then it's back to work and get started.

“What we’ve done is given ourselves an opportunity now.”

Wycombe booked their place in the final with a 2-1 aggregate win over MK Dons.