GUS POYET admits a draw in tomorrow’s FA Cup fifth round clash with Southampton would be a worse result than a defeat for Sunderland.
The Black Cats are already facing a hectic period of fixtures over the final three months of the season, with Premier League games against Manchester City and West Brom still to be arranged.
And Poyet knows Sunderland can ill-afford to add another game to that schedule by finishing level against the Saints this weekend and being forced to travel to the south coast for a replay.
“I don’t want a replay,” Poyet said today.
“A replay is the worst result. Is it worse than losing? Yes.
“Sometimes I promise things to the players and try to make their life easier.
“But without knowing when you play, you can’t do too much.
“We’re going to play the game to win it, but I wouldn’t like to have a replay, not at all.”
Poyet realises though that Sunderland will face a tough task to emerge victorious against the Saints, in the fourth meeting this season between the two sides.
The Sunderland boss, who came up against Southampton counterpart Mauricio Pochettino during their playing days together in Spain’s La Liga, has been impressed by the Saints this season.
“I watched him a lot at Espanyol when he was the manager there and he had some very good seasons in Spain,” added Poyet.
“I was not surprised that he got a job here.
“But I’m surprised with how well they are playing. They have got players who will be very important for the future for English football.
“I think they will finish really close to the top six.”