• League Cup

Poyet: Victory is for the Sunderland fans

ESPN staff
January 23, 2014
ESPN FC: Moyes penalty mishap

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet dedicated his side's dramatic League Cup semi-final win over Manchester United to the club's fans.

Sunderland won a penalty shoot-out 2-1 after both sides scored at the end of extra-time as the match ended 2-1 to United.

"The feelings are for them," Poyet told Sky Sports, pointing to the visiting fans at Old Trafford. "A difficult season, nothing to enjoy, look at them - they deserve that. Let's see if we can go one more and win it."

Sunderland will be rank underdogs in the final against Manchester City but, having knocked out Chelsea and now United, that is a status Poyet is happy with.

Asked whether his side could win, Poyet said: "No doubt - for sure. The things that happened today, it's incredible, but the players have been outstanding. Credit to them."

He said his entire squad were singing goalkeeper Vito Mannone's name after he ensured the club reached a first League Cup final since 1985.

"When Vito got into the dressing room, the whole squad and staff started singing his name and there is no better feeling for a football player," Poyet said. "He was half happy, half embarrassed."

Mannone saved two penalties in a shootout they won at the expense of United in what Poyet felt was a unique game that he could not fully understand.

"It is very difficult to explain," Poyet said. "I don't remember being involved in another game like this, as a player or a manager. Normally when you score in the last minute you get through, you don't expect to concede after one or two minutes.

"Then, when you miss your first two penalties, you don't expect to win. How we did it, I think we have to ask Vito Mannone. He is the only person who can answer that. He has been getting better and better and today I think he was the difference.

"It's been a remarkable achievement from the lads. They've dug in the last three months, worked their socks off and we're getting the rewards."

Poyet was delighted with the performance his players put in and the spirit they showed.

"I was proud," Poyet said. "I was feeling it was my team playing there all night, believing, taking risks, passing the ball around, trying to put Manchester United on the back foot. We were going and going and going, so credit to the players. They put an extra bit there at that level."

Sunderland, whose last final came in the 1992 FA Cup, have not won major silverware since 1973 and Poyet is excited at the prospect of making history when they meet Manchester City at Wembley in March.

He said: "I like that, I love that. There is no better feeling than to be a winner."

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