Black Cats won’t repeat tame Arsenal performance, says Bardsley

MISTAKES ... Arsenal's Lukas Podolski with Phil Bardsley (right.
MISTAKES ... Arsenal's Lukas Podolski with Phil Bardsley (right.

PHIL Bardsley promises Sunderland will not be the tame outfit that were so easily rolled over by Arsenal when they take on Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final this weekend.

The Wearsiders were walloped 4-1 by the Gunners at the Emirates in what was the worst possible dress rehearsal for this Sunday’s game at Wembley.

But Bardsley says Sunderland are determined to be a different proposition on their return to London.

“I don’t think we touched the ball at the Emirates in the first five minutes, which doesn’t help but we won’t be making that mistake again,” he said.

“We’ve very good against the top teams generally so the Arsenal game was almost a surprise.

“We just weren’t at the races at all but we’ve had a couple of days to reflect now and put that behind us.

“We were poor from start to finish and as a team you win together you lose together, it’s not about pointing fingers at certain individuals.

“But everyone has got to look hard at themselves, work harder than we did that day, retain the ball better and show the attitude that has got us to Wembley.

“We didn’t do that on Saturday and we paid the price but we dust ourselves off, work hard in training and look forward to the final.”

Bardsley says that the Sunderland that turns up at Wembley has to be the one that performed so memorably at Old Trafford last month.

“The semi-final was a bit special all round wasn’t it?” he recalled. “It was us at our best.

“From the first moment we were drawn against Manchester United I had a sneaking feeling we were going to do it and fortunately we did.

“I didn’t imagine it would be quite as dramatic as it was but I don’t mind about that, now that we’re through to the final!

“It was an insane night but we were at our very best and hopefully it will be just as good on Sunday.

“Man United, Man City, they are top teams and top players and if you are going to do something against them you have to be at our very best.

“We know that, and that’s what we’re focusing on.”