The Cup competitions can offer Sunderland far more than isolated glory. That's the view of Gus Poyet anyway.
The Black Cats take a slender first-leg advantage to Old Trafford on Wednesday when they bid to make their first cup final appearance in 22 years, but regardless of whether the odds can be defied and Wembley reached, Poyet insists the club can reap the benefits.
Every game is special but to reach a cup final would be incredible. If we get there the whole relationship between the staff, the players and the fans will become stronger.
It won’t change the season but it will be a huge help to us as we try to avoid relegation.
We did so well to win the first leg against Manchester United but we’ve still to finish the job.
The cup run has given us a tremendous lift.
When we played Southampton in the cup in November, I think most people thought it was more important than the next match which was against Man City in the league – because who was expecting us to beat Man City? No one.
But we won in the cup and that gave us a bit of momentum to take into that game against City and we won that one, too.
He just gets it, doesn't he! For years when we were watching various different Sunderland managers treat the cups with what could only be described as contempt, fans were imploring - almost begging - them to use them as an opportunity instead.
They are the only chance of genuine success we have and you never know where they might lead. Premier League survival is important, crucial even, but no one ever said it had to be an either/or situation.
Martin O'Neill had a similar attitude and it is a big reason behind why many, myself included, still regard him well despite his dismal final months in charge.
Treating the cups with respect equates to treating the fans with respect. It shows a desire to give something back rather than just being interested in gorging on the Premier League cash cow. Long may it continue.