Sunderland 1 Southampton 0: Gus Poyet delighted with his side's performance as they show signs of winning mentality he demanded

Craig Gardner's stunning second-half effort saw the Black Cats progress to the sixth round of the FA Cup to continue their strong cup showings this season

Delighted Sunderland manager Gus Poyet praised his team after they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory over Southampton.

Four minutes after half-time Craig Gardner broke the deadlock for Sunderland as he fired a stunning shot from just outside the 18-yard box and the ball powered in off the underside off the crossbar for his third goal of the season.

Poyet told BT Sport 1: "We had back a couple of players that we needed, players that hadn't been playing.

"(Emanuele) Giaccherini played 90 minutes, and Craig Gardner with a good goal and he'd already had a shot on goal, he was just in the right place at the right time.

"It was a good afternoon for us."

 

The struggling Premier League side, who dropped into the relegation zone last weekend, knocked top-flight trio Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup to reach next month's final where they will face Manchester City.

So far in the FA Cup this season they have seen off Carlisle, Kidderminster and now Southampton again to become the first side to reach the last eight.

Poyet added: "We've got that good way of playing now and fighting for the club and understanding what we want to do.

"Sometimes you need the whole group and sometimes it's not possible and sometimes these games, when they go for you like today they work for us, it's very important for the rest of the season.

"Let's keep believing. I think this week is going to be totally different before (next Saturday's away league game at) Arsenal, but we're very pleased."

Southampton assistant manager Jesus Perez defended Mauricio Pochettino's decision to make six changes from Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Hull.

Read More: Gardner stunner has Poyet smiling

Saints manager Pochettino, who was sending out his team for the fourth time this term against the Black Cats, made six changes with Kelvin Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Jos Hooiveld, Victor Wanyama, Guly Do Prado and James Ward-Prowse replacing Artur Boruc, Calum Chambers, Jose Fonte, Jack Cork, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez.

The defeat ended Southampton's eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and Perez said: "We pick our strongest team where we can. We decided to play with the best 11 after the game at Hull during the week.

"Our team is strong and all the players are available to play. We picked the strongest team.

"There are players that needed a couple of days to recover and some players with illness or just a lack of freshness... we have nothing more to say.

"We are a little bit sad to lose this opportunity to go forward in the FA Cup but nothing to say about our players."

PA

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