Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone insists the Black Cats are not worried about their Capital One Cup final dress-rehearsal against Manchester City this week.
The Italian stopper is not worried about City’s ruthless reputation at the Etihad and is sure it can only benefit their chances of beating them at Wembley in the final in two weeks.
And Mannone also had praise for the way Black Cats pulled themselves out of what looked like certain relegation to give themselves a chance of top-flight survival.
He told the Sunderland Echo: “It will be a test at Manchester City, but a good one for us, even if they are really strong at home.
“Everybody agrees they are scoring goals for fun and we will need to be at our best to defend really well. It’s going to be a tough game, but it will put something in our minds of what we’re going to do in the final.
“We came back from a situation where everybody was thinking we were relegated and dead, and we’ve put ourselves in a situation where we can fight.”
But Mannone admits the 2-0 defeat to Hull on Saturday was hard to take, particularly with Wes Brown receiving red card in only the third minute.
“The game went wrong after a couple of minutes really,” he admitted.
“We put ourselves in a situation again that it’s difficult to get out of. It was a game that we could have done well if it was 11 against 11.
“But we need to look at ourselves, what went wrong and take it.”