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 Posted by PA Sport
Jan 22, 2014

Sunderland win for the fans - Poyet

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

Craig Gardner celebrates with Vito Mannone after beating Man United in the shootout.
Craig Gardner and keeper Vito Mannone celebrate.

Jolly: Theatre of nightmares
Randall: Mannone the hero

The Black Cats 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 1, 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, the Uruguayan said: "No doubt -- for sure.

"The things that happened today, it's incredible, but the players have been outstanding. Credit to them,'' he added.

He said his entire squad were singing goalkeeper Vito Mannone's name after he ensured the Black Cats 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 explain.

"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," he added.

Phil Bardsley, a former United player, looked to have put Sunderland through with a shot that goalkeeper David De Gea spilled into his net, only for Javier Hernandez to force penalties.

Bardsley, who admitted his goal was "a bit lucky," said: "As a Salford boy, scoring at Old Trafford against Manchester United... unbelievable.

"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."

Mannone, who saved the decisive penalty from Rafael, said: "Unbelievable, just unbelievable. I just want to celebrate with my teammates. We deserved to get to the final."

Marcos Alonso and Ki Sung-Yong scored for Sunderland in the shootout, with Craig Gardner, Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson all failing from 12 yards, but then Poyet revealed he had too many players who were willing to step forward.

He explained: "The players were asking for the penalties. You don't see that very often. We even had a little bit of a fight between Phil Bardsley and Ki for the fourth."

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

He added: "I was proud. 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."

Information from Press Assocation was used in this report.

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