Fabio Borini targets Old Trafford victory
Fabio Borini has urged his Sunderland teammates not to settle for a draw ahead of their trip to Manchester United in the Capital One Cup semifinal second leg.
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Sunderland are aiming to reach their first cup final in 22 years when they travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday, with Gus Poyet’s side taking a 2-1 first-leg lead to Manchester.
Borini scored the penalty that handed the Wearsiders victory at the Stadium of Light and the Italian is hopeful his side can seal their place at Wembley.
But rather than look for the draw that will send his side through, Borini wants Sunderland to go all out for victory against a struggling United outfit.
“We’re not going there to lose, we’re going there to win," he told the Sunderland Echo. “If you try to get a draw, then the first thing that comes to your mind is to lose and that will happen.
“We’re going there to win and to play our game. It’s Man United. If you sit back, sooner or later they will score. They’ve got great players. We have to play our way to Wembley.”
Currently on loan from Liverpool, Borini has played a significant role in Sunderland's League Cup run this season after netting the equaliser against Chelsea in the previous round. Still keen to help the club avoid relegation, Borini admitted he does have a goals target for this season, but refused to reveal just what the figure is.
“Yes I’ve set a goals target," Borini admitted. "But I’m not going to say it in the media! I’m keeping that to myself and my mentor coach It’s very important to not give points away. Saturday was a point that we have gained and it was an important performance to get back in the game.
“When you see how close the table is, you need to keep in contention and not lose games. Every point counts. Good results give you confidence and we’ve got some consistency over recent weeks.”
Meanwhile, manager Gus Poyet has backed Wes Brown to turn back the clock against his former club this week -- after telling the defender he could play until he is 40.
Brown, 34, joined the Black Cats from United in 2011, but had largely endured an injury-plagued time on Wearside up until this season. Now playing regularly for Poyet, the defender has been a large factor in Sunderland's mini-revival of late.
Crediting Brown's ability to read the game and anticipate danger, Poyet is adamant the former England international could continue playing for another six years.
“He reads the game, he knows the game, he anticipates plenty of things," Poyet said to the Sunderland Echo. "He knows what we want and he adapted quickly to what we wanted, he’s doing it. I don’t know if he likes it, but he’s doing it, which is great for me.
“He at least knows why we’re doing the things we’re doing and the way we’re playing. That’s important. I would say if we keep playing the way we are playing, Wes could play with us until he is 40.
“He has a way of playing, there is a way of understanding the shape, how high up you play, plenty of things that influence the game. When you are so ahead of the game, if you keep yourself normally fit you can go on.”