Pitch concerns for Poyet

The Wearsiders travel to the League One side on Saturday on the back of a good record having won there on their last six visits.

Poyet is concerned about the standard of the surface in Yorkshire though and labelled it as “one of the worst in the country” last week.

The Uruguayan’s stance has not changed but he is wary of applying so much focus on that and not enough on the game itself.

Sunderland are aiming to reach the last eight of the competition for the third time in four years against Phil Parkinson’s side, who beat Chelsea in the last round.

Poyet said: “I wouldn’t like to use the pitch as any excuse but it’s not ideal. I think there’s no better way to define the state of the pitch than using Phil’s words from a few weeks ago.

“He knows how it is playing every two weeks and it’s not nice but that’s the pitch. We need to play there so we’ll try.

“We have to adapt. We need to be very clever, partly as a team but a lot as individuals. Decisions you are going to have to make on your own are not normal decisions you will make in a normal football game.

“We will have to do certain things and avoid certain parts of the game we would normally use. Whether we go high will depend on the players and on the day.??Normally the first 15 to 20 minutes is very difficult but then it settles down and you have a little bit more time.

“Depending on which part of the pitch you are on and who you are, you will do certain things but that is something I’m willing to change.”

Bradford will be looking to cause another shock after their 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge and go into the game off the back of three more unbeaten.

Sunderland, by contrast, became the first side to lose at home to QPR in a Premier League match in 17 fixtures when they were defeated 2-0 on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper Ben Williams believes Bradford are still clear underdogs but feels Parkinson’s team can continue their run in the competition.

He said: “After the last round, people are going to expect big things from us but we are playing a fantastic team with world-class players.

“They definitely go into the game as favourites. The gulf between the Premier League and the rest is widening each year.

“It’s very difficult for any lower league side to enjoy a cup run and this year has gone fantastically well for us. On a personal level, it’s about having self-belief and doing your best to treat the game like any other.

“It is about trying to hang on to the coat-tails of the top clubs and the top players for as long as you possibly can.”

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