SUNDERLAND must concentrate on more than keeping Sergio Aguero under wraps this weekend, insists Gus Poyet.
Aguero is in contention to return for Capital One Cup final opponents Manchester City on Sunday after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
The Argentine international resumed full training on Tuesday and has made good progress in his hopes of earning a place in the starting XI at Wembley.
But Poyet says Sunderland cannot afford to focus on just one of Man City’s many dangermen, and they need to offer an attacking threat themselves if they are to stand a chance of causing a Wembley upset.
“If we only concentrate on Aguero and (Vincent) Kompany, then we’re going to lose,” said Poyet.
“We need to do things to affect the game ourselves and not just try to defend.
“Obviously it depends if Aguero starts and how the game goes.
“But we need to deal with that and make him work, as much without the ball as with it.”
Sunderland will be looking to follow in the footsteps of last season’s FA Cup winners Wigan, who secured a stoppage time victory over Man City last May.
Poyet said: “I watched last season’s cup final and it was an interesting game.
“There were moments where you saw Man City coming and scoring, but for some reason they were not.
“The next minute, you saw Wigan in possession because of the style of Roberto Martinez and being comfortable.
“Then there was tension because it was coming to the end and that was in every player.
“And then the goal. That was an incredible moment.
“There is a way of playing the game and I need to find that way and make sure the players understand.”
City have put 34 more points on the board than Sunderland this season and Poyet is under no illusions about the ability at opposite number Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal.
But the former Brighton boss says that if Sunderland do themselves justice and City’s superior quality proves the difference, then he can have no complaints.
“I want to see my team doing the right things,” added Poyet.
“If the right things are not good enough, what can you do?
“If you do everything right and then Yaya Toure puts it in the top corner, what can you do?
“You need to realise that that is why they are so good.
“That’s why they play at a different level, so you need to be incredible and try to hurt them the other way.
“We need to be braver on the ball than we were at Arsenal and be more aggressive going forwards.
“If we put them on the back foot, they won’t like that because they want to have the ball all the time.”