Rowell Report: Saints a real test in cup clash

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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THE focus switches from the Premier League dog-fight to League Cup action tomorrow night when Sunderland host Southampton at the Stadium of Light.

With this game having been delayed for a week we already know that if we win we’ve been handed yet another home tie, this time against Chelsea.

But it is important not to look too far ahead and just concentrate on one challenge at a time.

Southampton are the surprise package of the Premier League this season, sitting sixth in the table and from what I’ve seen of them, they deserve to be there.

They have got a miserly defence that has only conceded four goals, which is the main reason for their success.

But in players like Osvaldo, Lambert and Jay Rodriquez, they can create problems at the other end.

Southampton really are an example to other clubs, as it is not that many seasons ago they were operating in the third tier of English football.

Their transfer recruitment was the direct opposite to ours, as they spent big money in the summer but only on a few players, preferring to add quality to the squad rather than the quantity route that we took.

There are no replays in this competition so there’s always the chance of extra time and penalties but I doubt that either manager would want that to happen, preferring to get it won in 90 minutes.

So because of this, it could produce an open attacking game, with both teams going for it and hopefully at the end, it will be Sunderland that Chelsea will be heading too in the next round.

It has been a pretty bleak season so far but a cup run would give everyone a lift.