Sunderland boss calls for FA Cup replays to be dumped

Match officials test the hawkeye system in the wind and rain ahead of the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium
Match officials test the hawkeye system in the wind and rain ahead of the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium

GUS POYET has called for FA Cup replays to be abandoned, with Sunderland facing fixture congestion over the final three months of the season.

Should Sunderland draw against Southampton in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round clash, the Black Cats will face a minimum of 15 games before the end of the campaign, with the club’s Capital One Cup commitments already causing fixture backlog.

And Poyet has proposed that the FA Cup comes into line with the League Cup, with ties decided on the night.

“We will have a lot of fixtures to play in a shorter amount of time now because of our success in the cups,” said the Sunderland head coach after last night’s clash with Manchester City was postponed.

“People will start thinking about Saturday for example and, in the future, I think it’s maybe an idea for the FA Cup to become a little bit like the Capital One Cup where we play one game at whatever ground and there is no replay.

“I know and I understand that the smaller teams would like to play at home.

“I understand that, but on the other side of the coin, it will be difficult for us and I can’t imagine what it will be like for Manchester City, who are still in the Champions League and the FA Cup.”

Poyet was an opponent of playing over the early months of the New Year before last night’s call-off.

The Sunderland boss has previously called for a winter break in his five-month tenure at the Stadium of Light and repeated those views last night.

Poyet added: “I’ve said many, many times that we should have a break in January and, in seasons where there is no major tournament at the end, the season should be extended into June.

“Then we’ll have more weekends and less games on nights in the middle of the week.”