The statue of Bob Stokoe at the Stadium of Light.

Daring to dream for an historic victory

Thousands of fans have travelled to Wembley. The Black Cats are the underdogs - but this is Sunderland, and anything could happen.

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Sunderland boss Gus Poyet expects 'no favours' from former Spurs team-mate

Gus Poyet Credit: PA

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet will return to former club Tottenham expecting no favours from old friend Tim Sherwood.

The 46-year-old Uruguayan spent three years at White Hart Lane as a player and had a spell there as a coach too before launching his managerial career.

He played in the same Spurs side as current manager Tim Sherwood, a man he hopes is given the chance to make his mark on the team amid speculation that a replacement is already being lined up.

However, he knows will receive no sympathy from his one-time team-mate as he looks for the victory he so desperately needs to give the Black Cats renewed hope that they can out of Premier League relegation trouble.

Poyet said: "No chance. From Tim Sherwood? No, no, no, no favours."

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Poyet says Ji situation "wasn't easy" for Sunderland

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet says the situation surrounding Ji Dong-won "wasn't easy" for the club.

The Black Cats have been fined by the Football Association for playing the South Korean earlier in the season without international clearance. The club said in a statement the issue was a result of a "technical fault".

The 22-year-old is now with German side FC Augsburg and is joining Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

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Sunderland say player registration issue "closed"

Sunderland have released the following statement:

“The issue of Ji Dong-won was explained in detail at today’s Premier League shareholders' meeting and no issues were raised by any club.

“Sunderland AFC confirmed that they had complied with all procedures and the Premier League stated that the player was duly registered on the extranet system and in all other Premier League mechanisms.

“The club has never accepted any wrongdoing, but did acknowledge that a technical fault occurred and as such were fined by the Premier League accordingly in December.

“The matter is now closed.”

– Spokesperson, Sunderland AFC

Bruce: Sunderland could be in serious trouble

Ji Dong-won Credit: PA

Steve Bruce believes his former club Sunderland could be "in serious trouble" after it emerged the club were fined for fielding striker Ji Dong-won in four Premier League games for which he was technically ineligible.

Sunderland were fined a six-figure sum after they made the Premier League aware that they did not have international clearance for the Korean player.

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Poyet tells SAFC players to defend the club

Sunderland AFC's Premier League survival hopes suffered another blow when they lost at home to West Ham. The opening goal was scored by former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. West Ham doubled their lead in the second half when Mohamed Diami's shot deflected in.

Adam Johnson gave Sunderland fans some hope when he reduced the arrears. But it was too little too late.

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"The bravest teams will stay up this season"

Sunderland's Head Coach Gus Poyet believes only the strong will survive the Premier League's closest relegation battle in years.

The Black Cats are third from the bottom of the table and face another vital game away to Norwich City on Saturday. The bottom ten teams are all still in danger.

Poyet believes bravery is the key to survival this season.

"I think that's going to be the main thing, from now to the end of the season. I think the team that is more brave as a team, which means most individuals, is going to be the one that is going to stay up.

"I am pretty sure because the difference between the teams is very little. So the idea here is to maintain that level of concentration all the time and be the team who is the bravest from the bottom ten."

England players mainly from top eight clubs, says Johnson

Adam Johnson Credit: PA

Sunderland's Adam Johnson says it is all about who you play for when it comes to playing for the country.

The midfielder, who has 12 senior caps, was tipped to make it into Roy Hodgson's squad for the friendly with Denmark earlier this month after embarking on a blistering run of form for his club.

He told the Journal: "I think a lot of people saw me as almost a certainty [for the Denmark team], but if you look at the last squad it, was almost all top-eight bar [Cardiff defender Steven] Caulker. He added, "I don't think it really matters how well you are playing - it's who you play for."

Of the 30 men named by Hodgson for the Denmark game, 25 of them play for clubs among that group.

It's about who you play for, says Adam Johnson

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has warned his fellow England hopefuls they have little chance of playing for their country if they are not at a top-eight club.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who has 12 senior caps, was tipped to make it into Hodgson's squad for the friendly with Denmark after a good run. He did not. He believes that has sealed the fate of his World Cup dreams.

"I think that says a lot about the selection. I don't think it really matters how well you are playing - it's who you play for.

"If you look at the last 10 squads, Southampton have been playing well, they are in the top eight - and the rest are Everton, Tottenham, Man United, City, clubs like that."

– Adam Johnson speaking to The Journal
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