Sunderland prepared for Everton test insists Martin O'Neill

 

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will leave nothing to chance against Everton tonight as he plots a path to Wembley.

The Toffees head into this evening's FA Cup quarter-final replay at the Stadium of Light knowing city rivals Liverpool await the winners at Wembley in the last four.

That would present David Moyes' men with an opportunity to avenge their 3-0 derby drubbing at Anfield four days before the 1-1 draw with the Black Cats at Goodison Park which prompted their trip to Wearside.

However, O'Neill, who has never won the FA Cup either as a player or a manager, is determined to deny Everton that opportunity even if that means extra-time and penalties.

He said: "You have to be prepared for that. It's obviously going to be a very tough evening - I wouldn't expect anything else, and I am hoping that Everton will feel the same.

"You have to try to be prepared as much as you can for every eventuality.

"Penalties are something that are part of the results business now. It has to finish tonight one way or the other, but I am never so sure you are totally prepared for a penalty.

"If you were just practising them on the training pitch - it doesn't mean you shouldn't do, of course, but I am not so sure.

"Nothing - nothing - prepares you for a penalty shoot-out in a big, big game in front of a lot of fans either cheering you on or baying for your blood.

"I have been involved in a few in my time. Some we have won, some we have been beaten.

"Sometimes the players you expect maybe to score a penalty miss it, and other players who you think, 'What's he taking it for?' put it into the net and walk away.

"It's very difficult, and we will try to get ourselves prepared for that moment if it arrives."

Both sides head into the cup showdown full of confidence after the Black Cats enjoyed a comprehensive 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over QPR on Saturday as Everton won 2-0 at Swansea.

O'Neill will finally have skipper Lee Cattermole back after he completed the four-match ban he incurred for collecting his 10th booking of the campaign and then a straight red card in an eventful derby draw at Newcastle earlier this month.

The manager said: "He has served his sentence now and he is obviously dying to get back into the action if he can.

"We have had to battle without him - we have done it before, and who knows, we might have to do it again.

"But I am pleased he is available for us, anyway."

Asked if he had put an arm around his captain as he came to terms with his frustration, O'Neill added with a smile: "No, I am not so sure that I would do that, particularly when you have got yourself stupidly sent off.

"It's not exactly top motivation for me."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine