Sunderland defender Wes Brown had no sympathy for his former club Manchester United after their League Cup semi-final defeat
Former United centre-back admits his loyalties now lie with the Black Cats although he still harbours hopes of beating Manchester City in the final
Sunderland defender Wes Brown has admitted that he does not feel any sympathy for his former club after helping the Black Cats book their place in the Wembley League Cup final at the expense of Manchester United.
United appeared to be going through to meet arch-rivals Manchester City on away goals – which comes into effect after extra-time only – thanks to Jonny Evans’s first half effort. That was until the 119th minute when Phil Bardsley scored to put Sunderland ahead on aggregate.
Javier Hernandez struck even later in the final minute to give United hope in the form of a penalty shoot-out, but four misses saw them eliminated from the competition, and Brown has no qualms about eliminating the club he spent 15 years with before leaving in 2011.
“I don't feel any sympathy for Manchester United at all,” said Brown. “I'm a Sunderland fan now. Obviously I'm a United fan as well but we're playing them so I'm Sunderland all the way.”
Given Sunderland’s struggles throughout the first half of the season which saw Gus Poyet brought in to replace Paolo Di Canio, you’d be forgiven for finding it hard to picture a successful cup run for the Mackems.
The transfer policy implemented by Di Canio and former director of football Roberto De Fanti – who was sacked last week – caused chaos upon Poyet’s arrival, but they have since mounted an upturn in form to raise the possibility of Premier League survival, not to mention a March trip to Wembley.
“Back in September I could not imagine this club would be going to a Wembley final, and that's the honest truth," admitted Brown, who has done well to come back from a serious knee injury to stabilise the back four alongside another ex-United defender John O’Shea.
“If you'd asked in September if there was a chance of us being in a final, nobody here would have said 'yes'. We've come such a long way since then. We're a strong bunch of lads and hopefully we can just keep this going now in the league.”
Brown also took a moment to praise the Uruguayan manager following his impact since his arrival on Wearside. The former Brighton manager spoke about giving his players a “winning mentality” when he took the reins, and
"Gus has been brilliant," said Brown. "He's on everyone's side. He helps everyone. We know what he wants and that's what we try and do. He changes things at times to see how we react to it and we reacted brilliantly against Manchester United. We have some great and talented players. When we play well you can see that on the pitch. The lads are buzzing and I hope all our supporters are too.”
But despite admitting his loyalties now lie with Sunderland, Brown couldn’t help but return to old ways in admitting that he is determined to get one over City in the final.
“Obviously it will be nice for me to play against Manchester City," Brown admitted. “But regardless of who it is we'd just like to go to Wembley and win the game now. It would be great for the club.”
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