Premier League: Gus Poyet relishing challenge of taking on Manchester City

Last Updated: 12/02/14 6:40pm

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Gus Poyet: Expecting a tough test against Manchester City

Gus Poyet: Expecting a tough test against Manchester City

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Gus Poyet insists his Sunderland side are relishing the challenge of taking on Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Poyet saw his side take all three points in the reverse fixture in November and he has called for them to show no fear at the Etihad stadium.

"We need to be realistic - they have got plenty of quality players and that's why they're in the position they are in," Poyet said.

"We must be spot on and do everything right; making sure we're organised to make it difficult for them.

"Saying that, I think it's a game the boys are looking forward to, having the opportunity to play against the team we will face in the cup final. It's a nice game to play."

Sunderland are unbeaten in six league games away from home, and Poyet added: "Our away form has been very important - we've been very good away from home of late, probably one of the best.

"No doubt that has helped the players mentally. It's going to be another test, but we are still good, still getting better.

"We are going to have to defend at periods in the game because of the quality of the opposition. At the same time we need to be dominant on the ball.

"Without any doubt, it's going to be physical - we will need to be in good shape - but mentally we must be strong enough to go and try, as much as we can, to control the game.

"We can't just let them come forward again and again."

January signing Santiago Vergini could be in line for a first Premier League start at City in place of the suspended Wes Brown.

"I don't think Santiago expected to play last weekend, but inside the opening 15 minutes he was on the pitch. It's vital to be ready to show your quality," Poyet said.

"It's always good to have options just in case. That's why I need the whole team to be ready."

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