WES Brown says Sunderland’s precarious Premier League position has not cast a shadow over preparations for the club’s appearance in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.
The Black Cats have spent most of the season rooted to the very bottom of the league.
Although a recent revival lifted them clear, they have been dragged back into the bottom three ahead of this weekend’s showpiece final against Manchester City.
Those concerns have been put on hold, though, says former Manchester United defender Brown as the Black Cats attend to the challenge of trying to bring silverware back to Sunderland for the first time since 1973.
“The survival battle hasn’t taken the edge of this week,” he said.
“This week is all about the cup, about concentrating on the final, and that’s our only priority until Sunday night.
“We have a good bunch of lads at Sunderland, who have worked hard and played well and deserved this.
“After that, obviously, we get back to our daily routine and getting points on the board.
“But this week it’s about the cup and about trying to bring silverware back to Sunderland.
“We’ve had a hard test getting to the final, so why not finish it off by winning a trophy?”
Brown joined Sunderland in July 2011, along with former Old Trafford team-mate John O’Shea, and although their stay at the club has seen the Wearsiders’ fortunes ebb and flow, the ex-England international says the team has a chance to really make a mark this weekend.
“It would be great to achieve a bit of history at Sunderland and we’re still in both cups,” the 34-year-old pointed out.
“We are not as big as the Man Uniteds, Man Citys and the Chelseas, so to get Sunderland to the final is a great achievement.
“We’ve had to beat some big teams to get there, so let’s make the most of it.
“Since the gaffer has come in we’ve done excellent and we know what we’re doing.
“We’ve beaten Man City once this season and we have to focus on doing it again.”
Meanwhile, Brown is completely unconcerned by the fact that this year’s Capital One Cup final is being refereed by Martin Atkinson, who sent the Sunderland defender off in the home draw with Norwich City in December.
“I’m not worried about it in the slightest,” shrugged Brown. “It was a sending off – he got it right.
“No, he’s a good ref and I’m sure he’ll have everything sorted on the day.”
* Don’t forget to pick up your Football Echo souvenir cup final special – out at all good newsagents now.
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