Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

FA Cup Trip Holds No Fear - Stewart

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

FA Cup Trip Holds No Fear - Stewart

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Marcus Stewart is confident Sunderland will offer the perfect response to their mauling at Cardiff after insisting Mick McCarthy's team have no fear as they prepare to put their FA Cup ambitions on the line against Birmingham.

The Black Cats crashed to their heaviest defeat of the campaign when they lost 4-0 in South Wales on Saturday but, in the aftermath, Mick McCarthy was quick to quash any suggestions that the result would hamper his bid to secure a positive result at St Andrew's.

With the prize on offer a place in the FA Cup quarter-final for the first time in 12 years, the Wearsiders will head to the West Midlands tomorrow determined to make amends.

And, with the incentive of a home tie with Sheffield United should they reach the last eight, Stewart is adamant a team who have won just two of their last eight away fixtures will not be daunted when they line up against Steve Bruce's men. "I know for a fact that we are not fearing going to Birmingham, no way," explained Sunderland's leading scorer, who was hauled off at half-time at Ninian Park having threatened little in a demoralising opening period.

"Our performance in the first time against Birmingham gave us all a lot of confidence and belief that we can live with a side who have established themselves in the Premiership; we did very well. We could have won the match at the first time of asking, no question about it, and we know that we can win at Birmingham.

"The draw for the next round has given us a great incentive.

"The FA Cup is very open this season. If we get through to the quarter-finals and then beat Sheffield United we could end up playing Tranmere or Millwall in a semi-final. That is what we would hope for.

"If we can overcome Birmingham we will fear nobody. Arsenal are the only team we would want to avoid. …

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