ELLIOTT Dickman admits Sunderland’s rookies have inevitably had half an eye on an FA Youth Cup derby rematch against Newcastle United.
Sunderland triumphed 3-1 after extra-time in their cup tie against Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light last night to secure a home tie against the Magpies in the fifth round – a rematch from last season’s competition when Newcastle emerged 4-0 winners at St James’s Park.
With the draw made prior to last night’s encounter, Sunderland already knew they would be facing a derby cup-tie if they could get past Ipswich.
And head of academy coaching Dickman says that was an incentive for his players, even if he was focused solely on beating the Tractor Boys.
“I think it was a big incentive for the boys,” he said.
“For me, I wanted to focus on last night, but I’m not daft, I know how young lads think and they’ll have been thinking of the next round.
“But the main thing was to get past Ipswich and now I’m sure they’ll be excited to face Newcastle.”
Sunderland had to come from behind after a nervy start from the hosts, but following a dominant second half from Dickman’s side, the Black Cats finally went ahead in extra-time following quick-fire goals from substitutes Luke Molyneux and Daniel Pybus.
Dickman added: “I don’t think we played as well as we can in the first half. There were a few words and a bit of a reality check at half-time.
“But we’ve spoken a lot about the work ethic and togetherness of the lads and it’s got us through the game.
“I’m really pleased for the boys because they’ve worked really hard and they deserved that on the night.
“We spoke about the subs. Some of the lads may think it’s a bit harsh, but the main message was that they could make a difference in the game.
“I knew it would be a tight game, and Luke and Daniel came off the bench and I’m really pleased for them.”