Sunderland boss hopes to keep players on the pitch for Hull City cup tie

DRIVING FORCE: Lee Cattermole
DRIVING FORCE: Lee Cattermole

SUNDERLAND’S disastrous two meetings with Hull City this season will be completely ignored by Gus Poyet as he devises a gameplan to send the Black Cats into the FA Cup semi-finals.

Former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has taken six points against his old club this season, with Hull doing the double over Poyet’s side.

But both encounters have been marred by self-inflicted damage from Sunderland, with Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena sent off at Hull in November, before Wes Brown was dismissed in last month’s Stadium of Light defeat.

Poyet says he can take little from those two games in preparing for tomorrow’s quarter final and just hopes his side can prove a point with a full quota of players.

“I can’t analyse the games properly because of the sending-offs,” said Poyet.

“The first one was my third game and we were coming back from my first victory against Newcastle.

“Everything was spectacular during the week on the training ground.

“But then we conceded an own goal, lost the goalkeeper and had two players sent off. It doesn’t get worse than that.

“But the second half was very good and we learned a lot from it about the character of the players.

“In the home game, you’re not expecting to lose a centre-half so early and play the whole game 10 v 11. It was difficult to take.

“I think the team would like to go there tomorrow and play a proper game without anyone being sent off.

“It’s a feeling that we want to go and prove a point.”

Neither does Poyet believe he can learn much from Hull’s recent games, with the Tigers without cup-tied January signings Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long tomorrow.

“The idea of Jelavic and Long not playing changes the style,” he said.

“We checked on their previous cup games against Brighton.

“But we’re just concentrating on how we expect them to play.”

As in the last round, Poyet is keen for Sunderland to win the tie out-right, rather than add a replay to an already hectic fixture schedule.

“It would be annoying to have a replay,” added the head coach.

“The best way is just to try to win it.

“The idea is to see if we can finish the job now.”