Honeyman: Sunderland wanted to face Portsmouth at Wembley
George Honeyman revealed Sunderland wanted to meet Pompey at Wembley.
The Black Cats captain has no qualms facing Kenny Jackett’s side in the Checkatrade Trophy final – and will relish the crackling atmosphere.
The Blues meet their League One rivals at the national stadium on Sunday, March 31 (2.30pm).
Pompey defeated Bury 3-0 in the semi-finals of the competition, while Sunderland delivered a 2-0 success at Bristol Rovers.
Facing the League Two Shakers would have been an easier opportunity for Jack Ross’ men to claim the silverware.
But Honeyman wants to play in front of a big crowd – which is why he was rooting for Jackett’s side at Roots Hall.
And with both clubs selling out their respective ticket allocations, the Sunderland captain believes the game will be ‘surreal.’
The midfielder told Chronicle Live: ‘We wanted Portsmouth to get through if we were going to get to the final because we knew they’d bring a big crowd as well.
‘It’ll be surreal, I just want everyone to enjoy the moment and I’m sure they will.
‘Enjoy playing for Sunderland in a cup final at Wembley because, it’s not the FA Cup but it’ll live in people’s memories if we go there and lift a trophy.
“Our goal at the start of the year was promotion but when you get to the final, you go to Wembley, okay it’s been watered down by Tottenham playing their home games there but for a lot of people to play there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
‘You just never know when that opportunity could come again.’