Sunderland striker Sessegnon eyes second chance against Everton

Stephane Sessegnon
Stephane Sessegnon
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STEPHANE Sessegnon insists there will be no repeat of the red mist after getting a second chance to help Sunderland into the FA Cup semi-finals.

Sessegnon returned in style from a three-match ban in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened QPR after his eighth of the season helped Sunderland earn a timely confidence boost ahead of tomorrow’s quarter-final replay with Everton.

The Benin international missed the first meeting with the Toffees at Goodison Park through suspension after he was sent off in the Tyne-Wear derby for throwing an arm at Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote.

But Sunderland’s top scorer says he has learned from that experience and is determined to fulfil his boyhood dream of running out at Wembley, with Liverpool awaiting the winners there in the semi-finals.

Sessegnon told the Echo: “It went well for the first match back because we won the game and I also got a goal.

“It was difficult during my suspension because I’ve been having a good season and you don’t want to see it get disrupted by a red card. It was obviously tough to take.

“There won’t be a repeat of it. In the future, I have to pay more attention because you can’t let the team down like that.

“But the rest of the team have kept us going in the right direction. I’ve obviously missed playing, but I hope I can feature for the rest of the season and help us through in the cup.

“I’ve tried to benefit from training here and keeping sharp with the rest of the group.”

The 27-year-old added: “If we had lost on Saturday, it would have been tough going into the Everton game. But now we’re confident and we’ve got home advantage against Everton so we’ve got to be positive about getting through.

“It’s a competition that everyone wants to win and I’ve heard about ever since I was a child.

“It will be a difficult one against Everton, but if we can show the will to win and be combative, then we’ve got every chance of doing well. Everyone knows it’s a big game and will be determined to get to Wembley.”

Ill discipline was a theme of Saturday’s game after it swung firmly in Sunderland’s favour when former Black Cats striker Djibril Cisse was dismissed early in the second half for an ugly two-footed lunge on substitute Fraizer Campbell.

With Sunderland already leading through Nicklas Bendtner’s opener, Martin O’Neill’s men were able to secure a comprehensive victory after goals from James McClean and Sessegnon helped to banish the memory of Tuesday’s defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

“The red card changed the game, although we were already winning 1-0 at that stage,” added Sessegnon. “But after the exit of Djibril, it obviously gave us the advantage and with the cup on Tuesday, it’s perhaps good that we were able to control the game.

“Once we got the second goal, we always looked comfortable. It was important to win after Tuesday’s defeat at Blackburn.

“After Blackburn, we obviously needed to improve and to be able show the right attitude to win. To win with a few goals as well helps and it’s given us a good platform for Everton on Tuesday.”