Sunderland legends Gary Bennett, Gordon Armstrong and Stephen Elliott verdict ahead of Tranmere Rovers Papa John's Trophy final

Sunderland legends have backed Lee Johnson's side to triumph at Wembley as the Black Cats target a cup and promotion double this season.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 10:12 am

We spoke to club favourites Gordon Armstrong, Gary Bennett and Sunderland Echo columnist Stephen Elliott ahead of Sunday's final.

GORDON ARMSTRONG

It’ll be a tough game, I’ve no doubt, but I think we’ll be firm favourites. Hopefully all the lads go out and perform, and if they do that then I think they should win.

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Sunderland face Tranmere Rovers in the Papa John's Trophy final at Wembley.

It would be nice to come back with a trophy.

You look at Charlie Wyke who is getting the goals, Aiden McGeady is creating chances - those two lads will be key.

The good thing about it is that lots of these lads have played at Wembley so they know what it’s all about, the pitch and how to play on there. It’s not a new experience for most of them so hopefully they can prove on the day that they’ve got match winners.

Obviously it’s massively disappointing that no fans will be there.

Everybody agrees in football that as soon as fans can get back in the better. Even when you watch it on the TV it’s not the same and the sooner it changes the better.

I think Sunderland will win this time. I’d go 3-1 or something like that. I think if we can get an early goal and then our superior technical players should be able to win the game.

GARY BENNETT

Unfortunately there’s not going to be any fans there, and that’s the big disappointment. You can hear the fans already thinking ‘the only time we’ll see Sunderland win at Wembley, we’re not going to be there’.

But it’s another fantastic opportunity for the football club. When the competition kicks-off you think it’s a nothing cup, but we know ourselves what getting to the final can mean to a football club and supporters.

We’ve seen the momentum that games like this can cause and winning will continue.

At the end of the day, it’s keeping the lads on their toes as well. They’ll all want to play so it’ll be interesting to see what the starting team is.

It’s going to be indescribable. We know ourselves going to away games, going to the Stadium of Light - it’s not the same with no supporters.

The last time we were there, the whole weekend was fantastic for supporters. For the players, it’s going to be a weird feeling.

Sunderland have got enough to do it.

If Sunderland play as well as they can, they’ll win.

Stephen Elliott:

It has been a monumental turnaround in the season over the past few months.

All I can say is I wish Sunderland all the best of luck for Sunday’s game.

Winning at Wembley has been a long time coming for the football club and I believe, with the form the guys are in they can achieve it.

Winning a trophy with this club is amazing and I hope they all get to feel what it’s like on Sunday.

There’s a real good feeling about the club at the moment and that is down to the players.

The fans may not be there on Sunday but there is no doubt they will all stay in their hearts forever if they can bring it home.

Keep it going!! Haway the lads.

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