John O'Shea is hoping Sunderland can use a derby victory over Middlesbrough as a springboard for success in the FA Cup.
The Black Cats have a good recent record against their neighbours and the Republic of Ireland international knows a win could set them up for an extended cup run.
O'Shea won the competition with Manchester United in 2004 and knows a win will keep their confidence and momentum high.
"They are the games you play football for, whether it be the cup of the league," said O'Shea.
"It's one that we are looking forward to - one of the players in the team in particular is making sure everyone is on the ball for that game.
"I wouldn't say you are relaxed as such because a derby situation is added spice to the cup factor, and also you want to keep your good run going as well.
"Some big teams have been drawn against each other again, and if you are in the hat for the next round, you never know, you could get that bit of luck as well and the next thing, you are thinking about bigger aspirations in the cup.
"That keeps the confidence ticking over for the league as well."
O'Shea experienced many big games with United and, having missed the derby clash between Sunderland and Newcastle earlier in this term, he is keen to make amends.
He added: "They are the games that as a professional, you want to be involved in.
"Whether it be Middlesbrough or Newcastle as the case may be, they are games you want to be involved in - and hopefully, you get the right result as well.
"It's one that we are looking forward to - one of the players in the team in particular is making sure everyone is on the ball for that game."