Sunderland AFC news and transfers RECAP – Wembley injury latest; Checkatrade build-up – ChronicleLive

Sunderland AFC news and transfers RECAP - Wembley injury latest; Checkatrade build-up - ChronicleLive

Why Sunderland have a huge advantage over Portsmouth at Wembley – according to a sports psychology expert

Thats according to respected sports psychologist Graeme Foreman, who believes that the Black Cats will be in a better mental shape to deal with the expectations surrounding the showpiece final.

Foreman, whose previous clients include the FA, England Netball and Sunderland themselves, insists that Jack Ross side will be well-equipped to deal with the big occasion that surrounds the final.

Thats because Sunderlands large home gates – which are almost double that of Pompeys – mean they are used to performing in front of large crowds.

Important travel info: Extra metro services running on Sunday

So too are a number of the first team squad, with Premier League and international experience meaning they are confident and comfortable when it comes to bumper crowds.

Indeed, six of the current squad have even played at the national stadium in the past – and that could give the Wearsiders a huge advantage over their opponents when they take to the field in front of over 80,000 spectators on Sunday.

Its a big occasion, but everyone in League One has had a big occasion when theyve come to the Stadium of Light and played in front of 30,000 or 40,000 fans, he said, speaking exclusively to the Echo.

Its 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.

Being able to enjoy the moment is something that Foreman believes could be key come the final, knowing full well just how much stress and anxiety can affect performance levels.

Some anxiety will be natural when the players take to the field ahead of the 2:30pm kick-off on Sunday – but how can Sunderlands squad combat the pressures that may come with a Wembley final?

Extra Metro services will be in operation on Sunday morning, 31 March, to help Sunderland supporters connect with mainline trains for their trip to Wembley Stadium for the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, is running the additional Metro trains from 6.15am to help fans get to mainline stations in Sunderland and Newcastle.

The extra services are there to help the Sunderland fans have enough time to spare in order to catch onward mainline services to London Kings Cross, with the big match kicking off at Wembley at 2.30pm.

Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: Extra Metro services are in place from early on Sunday morning to assist the Sunderland fans who need to make connections for the trip to Wembley.

We knew there would be a higher level of customer need on the morning of the game and we have planned and prepared for that with the additional trains. The Metro is part of everyday life in our area and that includes helping football fans get to all of the big games.

The first of the extra trains will be in operation from 6.15am on Sunday as we expect more demand at that time, given that the game kicks off at 2.30pm down in London. My advice to fans is to allow plenty of time to get where you need to be for the journey south.

For more information and updates go to www.nexus.org.uk and Metros official twitter page @My_Metro.

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