Sunderland manager Gus Poyet insists his players will not find domestic cup runs a distraction despite their perilous league position.
The Black Cats are bottom of the Premier League and four points from a position of safety with just under half of the season remaining.
Poyet's side booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-1 victory over League One Carlisle on Sunday afternoon.
The Black Cats boss is now preparing his charges for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg clash with Manchester United at the Stadium of Light.
Poyet is not concerned his squad will lose their focus as a result of extra fixtures, and he believes the more the team plays the better the chance of Premier League survival.
"When I was a player, I wanted to play. I hated to train and the fitness coach making me run and run. I wanted to play games," Poyet said.
"If it was three days (between games), it would be perfection. If it's two days, it's a little bit risky.
"Today we gave a rest to a few players who will be fresh on Tuesday and will have no excuses to perform against Manchester United."
Watch Sunderland v Manchester United in the Capital One Cup semi-finals live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7.30pm on Tuesday.