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Talking Points: “I hope Sunderland never play Portsmouth again. I actually hate Portsmouth!”

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In our post-match dress down of our game at Fratton Park last night we look at everything from Sunderland’s professional performance, to the utter disdain we’ve developed for Portsmouth this season.

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Professional performance

A lot of fans winced when they saw the team that Jack Ross had picked last night because it appeared overly defensive, but for me the manager called it absolutely spot on.

We knew that our opponents were definitely going to play to the occasion, and with a one goal lead it was important that we concentrated fully and kept our heads.

George Honeyman’s inclusion on the right hand side surprised a few people but I thought, from a defensive perspective, it was one of Honeyman’s better games this season. The middle two of Leadbitter and Cattermole were immense and their control of the game was impeccable. They’re not big, quick players but in games like this one where you need to use your experience to your advantage they were unbelievably useful.

Alim Ozturk was domineering again, and Charlie Wyke battled hard up against Christian Burgess and got the better of the Portsmouth defender more often than not.

In truth, I can’t really point to anyone who had a bad game. We went to Fratton Park with a job to do, with a task in mind, and we carried it out in the most professional manner possible. The players and the manager deserve huge credit for the way they’ve carried themselves in the last two games - we’re in the final, and deservedly so.

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Portsmouth...

From supporters that launch smoke bombs at kids and elderly people to a captain who shouts and swears at the ballboys, Pompey really have shown themselves up when they’ve gone against us this season.

Whether it’s been James Vaughan, Christian Burgess, Nathan Thompson or Gareth Evans, this lot just do not know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Had they tried to play football instead of trying to kick lumps out of us they might have came out victorious over the two legs.

And just when you thought they couldn’t get any more unlikable, some idiot in the crowd thought it was a good idea to not only punch Luke O’Nien but then also try and climb onto the pitch to get at Lee Cattermole.

I hope Sunderland never play Portsmouth again. I actually hate Portsmouth.

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Wembley fever!

I told myself all week that I wasn’t going to get caught up in it but, come full time, we were organising our tickets, trains and hotels for the big weekend.

It doesn’t matter what you think about the path we’ve taken as we seek promotion, big games at Wembley stadium are what being a football fan is all about, and moving heaven and Earth to ensure you’re there it essential.

One thing’s for sure - Sunderland AFC are not done yet.

I can’t wait. See you all at Trafalgar!