• FA Cup

Poyet: Give me league survival over cup success

ESPN staff
February 15, 2014
Gus Poyet has a League Cup final, FA Cup quarter-final and Premier League relegation scrap to tackle © PA Photos

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has admitted he would rather his side stayed in the Premier League than win the FA Cup.

The Black Cats booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Southampton at the Stadium of Light.

It means Sunderland face a fixture pile-up after their league match with Manchester City on Wednesday was called off, while the two teams also contest the League Cup final at Wembley next month.

When reminded that Bob Stokoe, who led Sunderland to FA Cup glory in 1973, is commemorated by a statue outside the stadium, the Uruguayan made it clear what is first on his priority list.

"I would prefer to stay in the Premier League," Poyet said. "Apparently, to be more famous, it's better to win the cup. I don't want any more people knowing me. I think they know me enough, so I would prefer to stay in the Premier League.

"I am not looking for a statue, that's for sure. It's a personal feeling. I can't answer for anybody else, it's me. I would be devastated if we go down, so it's me.

"Now at the same time, I have to say if we win the Cup, I am going to be jumping up and down and I am going to be wanting to come back here and celebrate with the fans, that's true.

"We will see, we will see what happens."

Poyet made nine changes to his starting line-up for the fifth-round win over Southampton - and while Craig Garder's stunning winner proved the difference, the manager was delighted that a number of players had staked claims for a regular spot in the side.

"I'm very pleased," he told the club's official website. "Southampton are a very difficult side to play against. It's very difficult to have the ball, very difficult to have chances.

"There were players today that have given me a lot to think about for the future and also about the shape of the team and the idea of playing with two strikers."

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