TONY Mowbray admits Middlesbrough must “punch above their weight” if they are to apply an FA Cup knock-out blow.
Out-of-sorts Boro are rank outsiders for tomorrow’s fourth-round derby against resurgent Sunderland at the Stadium of Light (kick-off 1.30pm).
Boro are not only short on confidence after a miserable run in 2012, but they are short of players because of injury and suspension.
But Mowbray is hoping one of the world’s most iconic competitions will inspire his troops.
“Everyone dreams of getting to the final and we’ll be striving to get to the next round,” said Nowbray.
“We know it will be a difficult game for us but hopefully it will be difficult for Sunderland.
“Every club wants to do well and punch above their weight in the FA Cup and this is a weekend when we’re going to have to do that if we’re going to progress.
“Martin (O’Neill) seems to have turned things around and got some good results.
“We know it’s a tough game but you never know in football.
“As we found out against Shrewsbury in the last round, there are no easy games.
“Sunderland are in good form and sitting very comfortably in the table, while we’ve hit a sticky patch of form for whatever reasons.
“But whoever we have in the side will give a very honest performance and work very hard.
“We’ll go to the Stadium of Light and make sure Sunderland know they’ve been in a game.
“It can be quite a daunting place to go and play but if you’re on top and there are a few moans and groans you can turn it into a positive.
“But we’ll wait and see. Let’s hope we have a good day in front of goal.”
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