Why Bristol Rovers captain Tom Lockyer took confidence from Sunderland's recent visit ahead of Checkatrade Trophy clash
Bristol Rovers captain Tom Lockyer took confidence from last month's defeat by Sunderland - despite the Black Cats running out comfortable 2-0 winners.
The two sides will meet for the second time in 11 days when they go head-to-head in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.
After completing the double over the Gas in League One this season, Sunderland will be favourites to book their place in a Wembley final later this month.
However, Lockyer believes his side are capable of much more this time around.
"When they came down here the other day, we didn't give a good account of ourselves by all means, but there wasn't a lot in the game," Lockyer told the club's website.
"It was two set-pieces that done us, sloppy from our point of view if we're being honest.
"Apart from that I wouldn't say they came here with a multi-million pound team and blew us away.
"Touch wood that isn't the case tomorrow but we're going to try and give a better account of ourselves than we did against them last time."
Following their defeat by the Black Cats, Rovers, who are 21st in League One, recorded a resounding 4-0 victory over Blackpool on Saturday.
Lockyer, 24, believes his side will stand a real chance of reaching the final if they produce a similar performance on Tuesday night.
The central defender was also encouraged by the nature of the game 11 days ago, when Lockyer felt Rovers didn't impose themselves well enough against the Black Cats.
"If we can play like we did on Saturday it'll be a good spectacle that's for sure," added Lockyer.
"I know when they came down we lost 2-0 but as a defender I never really felt troubled.
"When we were 2-0 down we were chasing the game and they had a few on the counter attack but that's going to happen when you're chasing a game.
"Like I said, I never really felt threatened, maybe we didn't impose ourselves on them as well.
"I'm not sure their keeper had too many saves to make but hopefully we can change that and get him working tomorrow night."