GUS Poyet dedicated the inspiring Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Chelsea to Sunderland’s long-suffering fans.
“I’m pleased,” he beamed, when asked for his response to thrilling late win.
“I’m pleased for the players and I’m delighted for the fans. How hard has this season been for the fans?
“And then suddenly they find themselves in this environment – where they have something to truly enjoy.
“It doesn’t matter even that it is against such a top, top team. It is just a victory.
“And a victory in a special manner when you score right at the end of extra-time.
“So this victory is for the fans, and beyond them for the players too.”
While he was delighted for the win which sends Sunderland into the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time in the 21st century, he was also encouraged in his conviction that the squad are heading in the right direction under his guidance.
“What this performance tells me is that we are getting there,” he said.
“It is not easy but we are getting there because we kept believing and we kept doing the right things – we kept passing the ball, we kept composure.
“And when we scored it was through passing the ball and through looking for the killer pass – that’s the way we are going to do it.
“You can make a mistake and as long as you take responsibility, that’s OK.
“And the players are doing that, and trying to play the right way and trying play to the final whistle.”
Sunderland’s players will take it easy today but they have little time for rest ahead of the Norwich City game and Poyet has challenged them to go on from their cup heroics.
“They have done it now and they have to do it now every single day, every game,” he insisted.
“It doesn’t matter who you play against, at whatever level – whether it be Norwich City in the Premier League or Carlisle in the cup – you have to play the right way and I’m hoping that’s what we will be able to do.”