Vito Mannone is urging Sunderland to use the EFL Cup to belatedly launch their season before it spirals out of control.
The 28-year-old Italian keeper is a veteran of the club's 2013-14 League Cup campaign, which saw them defeat Manchester United in the semi-finals before losing to Manchester City at Wembley in the midst of a remarkable surge to Premier League safety under then manager Gus Poyet.
Three seasons on, the Black Cats welcome Shrewsbury to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening in a state of flux once again with new boss David Moyes attempting to steer the club through a pointless start to the new season while at the same time attempting to negotiate a difficult transfer window and an early injury crisis.
I was very, very happy with what we did in that cup run. I think it has stuck with the fans and with me, that Old Trafford night and making the final.
It's an important competition where, from my experience, we started to play well. It was like a kind of training for the league, so it builds your confidence, it gives games to most of the boys in the team and if you do well, you do well in the league.
We need to treat it like this, as a competitive game, as a league game again because we need to win on Wednesday if we want to win on Saturday. You can't do badly on Wednesday and do perfectly on Saturday.
Survival is the main aim once again for Sunderland, but it should be a bit more comfortable this time.Read the full story ›
Sunderland defender John O'Shea is convinced the club have made the right appointment by bringing in David Moyes to replace Sam Allardyce.
With the Black Cats' former boss leaving for the England job Moyes was the first choice to take over.
O'Shea, after his Euro 2016 exploits with the Republic of Ireland, joined up with his team-mates last Sunday - the day after Moyes was appointed - as they headed off to their French training camp.
The Scot has had little time to implement major changes but O'Shea is impressed by the former Everton and Manchester United boss.
He told safc.com:
The new manager has a fantastic pedigree and I saw a stat that he's third or fourth highest in terms of all-time Premier League wins, so we have a manager who knows how to win football matches.
I've had very tough games against his teams in the past and although he hasn't had much time with the group yet he's been getting his ideas across.
David Moyes is relishing the chance to succeed new England manager Sam Allardyce at Sunderland and return to the Premier League.
Allardyce was confirmed as Roy Hodgson's successor with the national team on Friday, leaving a Premier League vacancy at the Stadium of Light.
A statement published on Sunderland's official website on Saturday morning revealed former Manchester United manager Moyes, 53, has arrived on Wearside on a four-year contract.
Moyes said on www.safc.com:
I am delighted to have joined Sunderland. I am relishing the challenge and excited by the opportunity.
I have taken over a big British club with a great support and I'm looking forward to working in the Premier League again. I look forward to continuing the good work done by Sam.
Sunderland have appointed former Manchester United manager David Moyes to replace new England boss Sam AllardyceRead the full story ›
The £12 million signing is one of four big name players who won't be fielded for the Black Cats in next season's Premier League campaign.Read the full story ›
Sunderland completed another improbable Premier League survival mission and relegated north-east rivals Newcastle in the processRead the full story ›
Substitutes: Pickford, Jones, Larsson, Rodwell, N’Doye, O’Shea, Watmore.
Jermain Defoe's 18th goal of the season blasted Sunderland out of the Premier League relegation zoneRead the full story ›
Chelsea team: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa. #CFC