WITHIN minutes of Sunderland’s amazing Capital One Cup victory over Premier League champions Manchester United last night, Gus Poyet was already thinking of the games coming up.
The Black Cats now have two games in a row at the Stadium of Light – facing Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday and Stoke City in the Premier League next Wednesday.
And Poyet was already planning for one and thinking of the other!
“I plan to make many changes for the Kidderminster game,” he said.
“Hopefully I will be able to rest everyone – so there will be games for both our new signings, Santiago Vergini and Oscar Ustari.
“They were both on the bench at Old Trafford and the great thing, from our point of view, is that they will have seen that and they will know they have a challenge at this club getting into the team.
“That is good. That is how it should be.
“They will get their debuts this weekend, but they will know they cannot rely on being automatically picked after witnessing what their team-mates did at Old Trafford.”
After Kidderminster and the prospect of reaching the last 16 of the FA Cup, Sunderland will have the chance to burst out of the bottom three of the Premier League if they can beat Stoke.
Potters boss Mark Hughes watched last night’s cup triumph from the stands at Old Trafford and Poyet, too, has the league encounter at the back of his mind, despite the obvious excitement of a Wembley date on March 2.
“We will try to beat Man City in the final, but I hope between now and then we put more Premier League points on the board,” he said.
“We need to do well in the league if we want to be able to really enjoy the final.”
H Sunderland reaching the Capital One Cup final DOES NOT automatically guarantee them a place in the Europa League. They will need to win it to qualify.