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Quick Kicks: Thoughts And Reaction From Sunderland 3-1 Carlisle

Sunderland became the only team in the country with a 100% record in cup ties this season so far by dispatching a spirited Carlisle side at The Stadium of Light. We have some thoughts on the game...

Mark Runnacles

What The Gaffer Said

It's always difficult because if you don't score two or three goals you know that at any time the opposition can create a chance.

I think Carlisle did very well - credit to them, they really put us under pressure at the end of the first half but the more the game went on and on the power, the strength, the fitness and the quality started to show.

Normally teams that come from a lower division will give their all in the first 45-60 minutes so if you are a team that try to control you become very difficult for them.

I was expecting to score goals today, luckily we got three so I'm happy to win and get through to the next round.

It's always a nice feeling when you go through and you see the draws and you're waiting for something special and to try and progress.

The players that came on from the bench today were refreshing for the team.

Duncan [Watmore] started running at people and he lifted the supporters and gave them something different. [El Hadji] Ba took his goal very, very well.

We've followed Duncan in the under-21s and we've been talking to Kevin Ball a lot.

El-Hadji has been getting better, he's been understanding a few things, of course he's still young and from a different country so there is plenty for him to learn as well but he's got the physique, the ability and the technique to be an important player in the future.

It's time to rest now. I hope that the players who gave us a hand today will be ready to play on Tuesday as well.

It was a difficult game to really know what to make of because, as Poyet said, we actively tried to control it, which is not a very 'Sunderland' thing to do in the cup against lower league sides.

Our usual way is to try and be a bit of a battering ram, if anything increasing the tempo to a pace which we can't play at and then making ourselves look a bit silly. MK Dons in the League Cup earlier this season would be a prime example of that and the difference between that and this was remarkable.

But it was certainly a game that I never felt like we were in danger of losing. Nice to progress without drama.

'The Kids Did Good'

I was one of those who was hoping to perhaps see a bit more of an experimental side but with hindsight you'd have to say that Poyet got the balance between rotating his squad and respecting the opposition about spot on.

When Duncan Watmore and El-Hadji Ba did come on, both gave a very good account of themselves.

The spectre of James McClean looms large here so you are reluctant to built them up too much after what was sterling cameos against tiring League One opposition, but they certainly gave us cause for a little enthusiasm.

The Way To Play Altidore

Jozy Altidore's lack of goals is a frustration and sadly it tends to grab the attention. Again, he had a great chance to score in this one but failed to take it. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, he produced a finish devoid of any confidence at all.

But Ba and Watmore taught their more illustrious team mates a bit of a lesson in the closing stages, by playing off him rather than to him.

A constant source of irritation amongst the fans has been the pretty static attacking play this season. Players pass to each other, stop and admire, expecting the recipient to do something with it. But these two youngsters tried something you'd think was innovative - they passed and kept moving.

Ba got his reward from an Altidore lay off with his goal and Watmore was desperately unlucky not to get a carbon copy of for himself.

Carry on using him in that way and confidence will return and we may just have a footballer on our hands.

More Craig Gardner, Anyone?


Enough said.

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