"I look last year at Watford and Sheffield United, First Division sides," he said. "They had great cup runs and I think it helped, definitely, Sheffield United.
"Okay, they lost in the play-off final, but everybody remembered how well they played in the cup competitions and I think all in all, they had a very good season last season, so hopefully we can do the same.
"You never know. There's always hope with each season and maybe this year is going to be Sunderland's."