Sunderland face a short journey down the A19 to Teesside next month.

Sunderland will face ‘local rivals’ Middlesborough in the third round of the FA Cup at the Riverside stadium. 

Chris Coleman’s men will travel to Teesside on the weekend of 5-8 January to face Middlesbrough.

The guys from A Love Supreme, who have seen their fair share of Tees-Wear derbies over the years gave us at SportsByte their take on Wednesday’s FA Cup draw.

First of all are you happy with the draw? (If not, who would you have liked to face?)

It’s a far from an ideal game for us, I would have preferred a lower league team or at least a team that isn’t in the same division. We’ve played Middlesbrough twice in 2017 and they’ve had a depressing symmetry to them.

I never look forward to playing on Teesside in general, the media try and tell people it’s a derby, but obviously, we don’t see it that way we turn up watch an underwhelming performance on the pitch before the depressing journey home having been beaten by them again.

Having lost away to Middlesbrough already this season, how do you fancy your chances in the tie?

As I’ve just mentioned, Middlesbrough treat this fixture like a derby so much more than we do. In the build-up to the game, their official channels will be talking the game up, the fans will be giving us some stick over social media and they are always up for it so much more than us.

Their management and players are so switched on and focused and it shows in their performances they are up for the fight and despite the gulf in quality not being great, the derby feel to the match suits them better.

In terms of this game I would like to see our players thrive under the pressure being off them to a degree but sadly I think Middlesbrough will come away winners by a goal or two.

Currently sat second bottom in the league, would you welcome a cup run or would you rather Coleman focus’ solely on the league?

I’ve never really subscribed to the idea that being knocked out the cup early equates to improved survival chances and going far in the cup increases your chances of getting relegated. For a team in our position, any game is a chance to get a win on the board and generate a little bit of moral and confidence.

A win away at Boro would represent something of a scalp and would give us increased self-belief. Naturally, the league must be a priority but I wouldn’t expect Coleman to make big changes for this game, we have to go there with the intention of winning and try to our supporters a rare reason to be cheerful.