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Karl: Pressure is on Sunderland

27 August 2013

Dons boss believes all the pressure is on the hosts Sunderland tonight when the two sides go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup tonight.

The League 1 side make the trip to the Black Cats this evening a year on after the Dons were knocked out of the same competition by the Premier League side in the third round.


Sunderland have only played two games in the 2013/14 season and are yet to record a win, but Robinson believes Paolo Di Canio, who took charge at the Stadium of Light in March, will have earmarked the Capital One Cup as an achievable target this campaign.

“I think Paolo Di Canio needs to get something in the trophy cabinet, so the Sunderlands of this world will see this competition as a pathway to success and if they want to do that they can’t find themselves falling short against lower league opposition. I’ve been to Sunderland a few times with Blackburn and it is some stadium, the support that they have for their team is remarkable.”

Last season the Dons bowed out of the competition at stadiummk as Sunderland recorded a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Craig Gardner and James McClean and Robinson is expecting an equally tough test this evening.

“We will be making a number of changes but we still feel we have a strong enough squad to go and compete. We obviously see our game against Sheffield United as great importance so we will be making one or two changes; it will be littered with youth, with one or two experienced players in there as well. We have worked on one or two things so we feel we can go to the Stadium of Light and put a performance in.

“Teams in the Premier League possess such great quality that you can defend so well for 80 minutes and find yourselves getting beat 2-0 because they can score goals quickly. We’re looking forward to it – the young players are excited and the older players want to be here and involved too.”

Ahead of the match the Dons players will make a quick trip to Sunderland’s fierce rivals Newcastle United. The Dons trained at the Magpies’ Academy site on Monday evening and Robinson is hoping a visit to St James Park will inspire his side.

Robinson added: “To be fair to Alan Pardew he’s been magnificent, he allowed us to train at the Academy and we have set up our base camp in Newcastle as well. While we are here I thought it was an ideal opportunity to go and see one of the greatest stadiums in the Premier League, and we’ll play at another one tonight. The North East is blessed with two wonderful football clubs and we get to see them both during one trip.”

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