Poyet: We must take opportunity
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has urged his players not to pass up the chance of a lifetime as they attempt to book a trip to the Capital One Cup Final.
Manchester United stand between the Black Cats and a first trip to a major final since 1992 - and their first in the League Cup since 1985 - when the sides meet at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
They will do so with Poyet's men holding a 2-1 first leg lead and with the likes of United old boys John O'Shea and Wes Brown, as well as Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner and Ki Sung-yueng, knowing exactly what it takes to win the competition. However, many of their teammates have never reached a major final, and the Uruguayan knows chances to do so do not come around too often for all but the biggest clubs.
Poyet, whose side will be roared on by 9,000 expectant travelling fans, said: "I always say that. There are plenty who have never had this opportunity, either because they are too young or because they have been playing in teams that didn't have the chance to reach this possibility.
"That's why we need to make sure that we do everything possible to give those players the chance to feel what it means to play in a final at Wembley and have the opportunity of winning a trophy.
"People think it's easy to get to a semifinal and a final, but you don't get it every year and that shows you how difficult it is, apart from the top teams who normally are close. It's a great opportunity.''
To that end, Poyet will send his players out under instructions to seal their own destiny by taking the game to United rather than attempting to edge their way to Wembley.
He said: "The important thing is we need to score. If we go there thinking that the only way to get through is getting a 0-0, we are wrong. We need to try to score and play the game and manage the game.''