Luke O'Nien has this stirring message for confident Sunderland squad ahead of Portsmouth return leg

Sunderland midfielder Luke O'Nien is looking forward to the second leg of the play-off semi-final.
Sunderland midfielder Luke O'Nien is looking forward to the second leg of the play-off semi-final.
0
Have your say

Confident Luke O'Nien insists there is nothing to fear from Sunderland's play-off clash at Portsmouth.

Sunderland travel to Fratton Park on Thursday evening (KO 7.45pm) with a 1-0 lead thanks to Chris Maguire's stunning volley, with O'Nien confident the Black Cats will book their place in the League One play-off Wembley final on May 26.

O'Nien believes the quality within the Sunderland squad is 'massive' and says if Sunderland are on form then Pompey won't be able to handle them.

This will be the fifth - and final - time this season the two sides have faced each other with Sunderland keen to get back to Wembley and end on a high following their Checkatrade Trophy defeat on penalties to Pompey.

A sold-out home crowd awaits Sunderland at Fratton Park but O'Nien says there is nothing to fear.

Ahead of the game, O'Nien told the club website: "I am very positive going into the second leg.

"The way we set ourselves up for the first leg puts us in a very good position.

"There’s still a lot of work to do, although we have a one-nil lead going to Fratton Park. We have had a good couple of days of training and the boys are in good spirits.

"We have been down there before, and we know what it is like.

"We have experienced their stadium and their fans, so we will be hoping to put in a professional job and hopefully keep our lead.

"They are a good team and we have played them lots of times this season, so we know what they are about.

"We are going to have to make sure that we are on it and I am sure if we do this, they won’t be able to handle us.

"The quality that we have in our team is massive and we have done our homework on them but we have to focus on ourselves so that we can do our job properly and hopefully that is enough to come away with a win.

"It is our ambitions to get back to Wembley and put things right after our last game [the Checkatrade Trophy final] and make sure we are on the end of the right result this time."