GUS Poyet says victory against Southampton tomorrow would be the perfect boost ahead of Wednesday night’s League Cup showdown.
Sunderland will be backed by almost 9,000 supporters at Manchester United for next week’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, as they look to reach a first major final since 1992.
But first the Black Cats will look to take another step towards Premier League survival, as they bid to record back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season when Southampton visit the Stadium of Light tomorrow lunchtime.
Poyet said: “I would like to have a good result tomorrow, because then the game on Wednesday is going to be incredible.
“It would be great to enjoy it, and go there with a completely different mentality.
“It’s going to be amazing with 9,000 people in Manchester, with a bit of an advantage, and having an opportunity to get to a final.
“But of course first, we need a win against Southampton.”
Despite the enthusiasm for the League Cup, Poyet says his primary focus remains on the Premier League, with Sunderland facing the chance of moving out of the bottom three for the first time since August if they can win tomorrow.
“The situation is all about the league,” said Poyet.
“I love the cup because you become a winner winning cups.
“But everything you do is in the league.
“We need to keep doing well, and I will be calm and happy if we play the way we need to be.
“If on the day (Adam) Lallana is the best player on the pitch and the game is spectacular, you need to accept that.
“But what I wouldn’t like is the second half we had against Spurs or the last 25 minutes against Aston Villa.
“It would be nice to win somehow though.
“The idea is to keep winning because we need more points.
“I would say we’ve maybe done half of the job so far.”
Poyet is uncertain how a chaotic week off-the-field at Southampton will affect the visitors tomorrow after the resignation of chairman Nicola Cortese, and question marks over the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino.
But Poyet is full of respect for the job performed this season by Pochettino – a former adversary from his playing days in Spain’s La Liga.
“It can be either way, depending how they perform, it could go either way,” said Poyet.
“When people say it doesn’t affect the players, it does.
“But that doesn’t mean it affects you badly, it can affect you the other way, so we will see what happens tomorrow.”
“It’s difficult, a strange, unique situation, what is happening at Southampton. It depends what the consequences are, you never know. It’s unexpected.”
He added: “They have got their own system, the way they play, very young players adapting to the style very well and trying to be consistent with a new manager.
“It’s something refreshing for the Premier League, which is very welcome.
“Mauricio has adapted very well, very quickly. He knew exactly what to do, the players reacted to him. He has done very well and it has been working so far, so credit to him.
“I played against him in Spain. He was a very tough defender. We had a few nice games against each other.
“He was an honest player, so I am pleased for him.”