Sunderland’s Larsson looks for third time lucky in FA Cup

Seb Larsson
Seb Larsson
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SEB LARSSON hopes it’s third time lucky in the FA Cup after being knocked out at the quarter-final stage in the last two years.

The Sunderland midfielder reached the final eight of the competition with Birmingham in 2010 and 2011 before the Blues crashed out against Portsmouth and Bolton respectively.

Larsson is looking for better against Everton on Saturday as Sunderland attempt to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2004.

“I’ll have been in the quarter-finals three years running and I’d just like to go one step further and get to Wembley with a win,” said Larsson, who was part of the Birmingham team that won at Goodison Park in the fourth round in 2010.

“Last year with Birmingham, we didn’t really have the squad to cope, so we couldn’t really put out the strongest possible team and we were punished on the day.

“But we’ve got a good squad here with people able to perform.

“It’s a one-off game, a cup game and if we put in a good performance we’re in with a shout. I think it’s an evenly matched tie.

“We know we’re more than capable of getting a good result, but we know you need to perform well or you don’t get anything at Goodison Park.”

With both Manchester clubs out of the competition and Sunderland accounting for Arsenal in the last round, the winners on Merseyside will fancy their chances of lifting the cup.

But Larsson insists Sunderland cannot get ahead of themselves with thoughts of Wembley glory as they look to inflict Everton’s first home defeat since January 4.

The Swedish international, a Carling Cup winner with Birmingham last season, added: “We’ve just got to focus on the game now.

“If you get too carried away you get knocked out and it’s all over, so it doesn’t really matter if you’ve got to the quarters then.

“It’s all about trying to get to the next stage now.

“If you get to the semis, it’s a trip to Wembley and there’s something there for you.

“We’ll focus on this game alone and try to keep the momentum going.

“You only really look at the team you’re going to play in the draw you get. You can’t really affect anything else.

“Of course, you know what teams are out and what teams are still left in.

“There’s still enough good competition for it to be very difficult to win it, but it’s not impossible.

“To do that we’ve got to get through to the semi-finals first.

“It’s just about performing on the day and knowing it’s 90 minutes and you can’t just repair it next week by picking up three points then.”

H Sunderland Reserves host Everton in the Barclays Premier Reserve League at Eppleton CW tonight (7pm). The Wearsiders are again set to field a young team for the final fixture at the Hetton ground this term.