The winners of Tuesday’s clash at the Stadium of Light will face Kenny Dalglish’s men in the last four, but the Scottish coach is concentrating on his side’s trip to Wearside.
“It’s an irrelevance until the game’s over. I’ve hardly thought beyond going up to Sunderland and making sure we try and get a good result,” he told The Telegraph.
“That job’s big enough without thinking of anything else. I wouldn’t dream of getting ahead of myself, not with playing such a good side in a replay. I don’t think the fans are thinking past it either.
“I can’t think any further than going up to Sunderland and giving them all the respect. There’s no point thinking about anything else until this game is won or lost.
“It is a game that we are desperately keen to get through and get to a semi-final, but there are big games in the league as well. This game definitely taken precedence.
“It definitely keeps the buoyancy going and if we can stay in it the end will take care of itself. This game is of major importance because it’s the next one and we can progress to the semi-final,” he admitted.
By Gareth McKnight