Black Cats prepared for battle

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Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy insists he is not expecting an easy time when his side take on League Two Cheltenham Town in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.

The Black Cats are still to taste victory this season after West Brom's last-gasp equaliser at The Stadium of Light on Saturday.

As a result the Wearsiders and their fans will be hoping for a comfortable win against Cheltenham to help kick-start their league campaign.

However, McCarthy does not believe The Robins will prove to be a push-over and warned his players not to underestimate John Ward's side.

"It's always the same around this time of the year when you draw a team from the lower leagues," he declared.

"Cheltenham lost at home to Carlisle on Saturday, but I know John Ward and he'll come up here with them well organised and try to get something.

"But Cheltenham at home is a game we should win.

"We've got to make sure we do the right things and that we do get a victory of any sorts.

"It's always nice to play well and score goals but they're not coming up to let us win - 'Oh let's go up there and let Sunderland win to get their confidence back and let a few goals in' doesn't happen.

"They'll be chasing, tackling and competing for everything, and knowing Ward his team will be organised and well coached and difficult to beat."

McCarthy has a few selection headaches ahead of the game with Julio Arca, Alan Stubbs and Tommy Miller all expected to miss out through injury.