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Tony Mowbray promises Sunderland will be 'aggressive from the off' in cup replay

By Michael Graham,


There will be no sitting back and hoping to pinch something when Sunderland entertain Fulham in the FA Cup.

Tony Mowbray has promised his Sunderland side will be ‘aggressive right from the off’ against Premier League side Fulham on Wednesday.

Sunderland put in a hugely impressive performance at Craven Cottage, causing Fulham all kinds of problems despite losing top scorer Ross Stewart to injury early on.

They will again have challenges to overcome in the replay, with no strikers at all available as on-loan Leeds ace Joe Gelhardt is ineligible.

Mowbray, though, says that is not going to mean a change in mindset for his Sunderland side, and they certainly won’t be sitting off the Premier League side.

"It's not always easy to play possession-based football against a top Premier League side, but the positive for me from the first game is that we tried to be positive and play through them, not just kick it down the pitch and look for scraps,” Mowbray said.

“I thought we were really progressive with the ball in the first game, and yet we felt their quality when they had the ball.

"The positive for me was that we threatened their goal and could actually get through them by being brave and playing with Patrick [Roberts] and playing with Amad and Jack [Clarke]. It was frustrating when Ross came off for us because we lost that real cutting edge at the top end of the pitch that can score a goal out of nothing.

"But it was the attitude of the team more than any individual players that was the positive on the day. We played without fear.

"The fact we got a goal, of course, gave us something to hang on to. If we'd been a goal or two down, sometimes it can be more difficult to believe in playing on the front foot and getting after the ball.

"We'll try and be aggressive right from the off and get the first goal so we have something to cling to, and hopefully we will have a really good evening."

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