Rowell Report: Sunderland’s cup progress is cause for joy

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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SUNDERLAND might be in the bottom three of the Premier League but we keep marching on in the Capital One Cup.

The win over Southampton last week, or more accurately Southampton’s reserves, finds us one game away from a major cup semi-final.

I know clubs make changes in the cups these days but Southampton made an incredible 10 from their previous Premier League fixture and it makes you wonder how importantly they viewed this cup game.

If I was one of the Southampton fans who made the long journey up from the south coast, I would be seriously disappointed with that line-up and the signal it sent out.

However that wasn’t our problem and Sunderland got on with the job and did enough to deserve their place in the quarter-final.

The least said about the first half the better, as there was nothing to get excited about.

But the second half was much improved and we started to play with a more positive intent.

Sunderland’s bad boy, Phil Bardsley, claimed the opener but the goal that I really like was Seb Larsson’s,who scored with Jozy Altidore providing the assist with a clever pass which enabled Larsson to shoot without breaking his stride.

We could have done without Southampton’s late goal, which made the final few minutes more nervy than they needed to be.

But over the 90 minutes I felt Sunderland were the better team.

So Sunderland will entertain Chelsea now in the quarter-finals – a fixture which will see Gus Poyet taking on his old club.

And that is sure to be a challenge he is eagerly looking forward to as he pits his wits against Jose Mourinho.