Sunderland will hold advantage over Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final, claims sports psychologist
Sports psychologist Graeme Foreman believes Sunderland will have a ‘huge advantage’ over Pompey in the Checkatrade Trophy final.
The Blues meet the Black Cats in the Wembley showpiece on Sunday, with a crowd of more than 80,000 expected.
And respected sports psychologist Foreman claims Sunderland will be better-equipped to cope with the occasion.
Jack Ross’ Sunderland have played in front of average crowds of nearly 32,000 at the Stadium of Light this season.
That’s significantly more than Pompey’s 18,169 average at Fratton Park in League One so far this term.
But Foreman, when Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, also pinpointed the experience within Sunderland’s squad as a key factor in the Checkatrade Trophy final.
A number of Black Cats players have Premier League experience and several have played for their national side international level.
Republic of Ireland winger Aidan McGeady, Welshman Adam Matthews and Northern Ireland forward Will Grigg have more than 100 caps for their respective countries between them.
And that is another reason why Foreman feels Sunderland will have the upper hand at Wembley.
The former FA, England Netball and Black Cats employee told the Sunderland Echo: ‘It’s a big occasion, but everyone in League One has had a big occasion when they’ve come to the Stadium of Light and played in front of 30,000 or 40,000 fans.
'For Sunderland, that’s a huge advantage because they’re used to that.
'It’s a squad which is built around a lot of experience in terms of being in front of big crowds and in big games.
'You can mention some of the players, in terms of Matthews and McGeady, who have all played at big levels and internationally.
'They just have to stick to their processes, stick to their routine and enjoy the moment.
‘If they follow the processes on the day, they can win at Wembley.'