Tom Naylor dismisses idea Sunderland’s big-match experience gives them Checkatrade Trophy final advantage over Portsmouth

Tom Naylor dismissed any notion Sunderland’s big-match experience will be to their advantage in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:11 pm
Tom Naylor battles Aidan McGeady for the ball during Pompey's win over Sunderland in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey midfielder insisted anything said in the build-up will ‘go out the window’ when the two sides meet at Wembley.

The likes of have Aidan McGeady, Bryan Oviedo, Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg have international, Champions League and Premier League appearances between them in the Sunderland squad. 

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However, the Blues are accustomed to performing in front of a sold-out Fratton Park, with Naylor revealing Kenny Jackett’s men sometimes forget how many supporters are inside PO4. 

And the former Burton man believes anything said beforehand won’t count once the final gets under way.

‘Everyone has got their own opinions and none of our players think that way,’ said Naylor. 

Tom Naylor battles Aidan McGeady for the ball during Pompey's win over Sunderland in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘We play in front of 18,000 every week.

‘Sometimes we don’t even notice it because we concentrate that much on football that they’re there.

‘It’s one of them quotes where he (O’Nien) is trying to get in the players’ heads.

‘Once we get over that line, all the quotes will go out the window and we want to win.’

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Pompey delivered a 3-1 League One victory over Sunderland at Fratton Park in December.

But Naylor admitted that win will count for nothing in the one-off Wembley clash.

He added: ‘A final is completely different. 

‘It’s a one-off game and if we win then we win the cup.

‘It’s a one-off game and we will go from there.’