Sunderland manager Gus Poyet issues instructions to his players during his side’s defeat to Bradford City in the FA Cup Fifth round match at Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade. Photograph: Getty Images

Gus Poyet’s position at Sunderland is under no immediate threat with the board confident the Uruguayan can ride out a current rough patch and keep the(...)

Jon Stead scores Bradford’s second goal in their FA Cup fifth-round clash against Sunderland at Valley Parade. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Jon Stead has been there and worn the T-shirt during a career spanning 13 years and 10 clubs. But once things got so bad that his own supporters actu(...)

Jon Stead scored Bradford City’s second as they rocked Premier League Sunderland 2-0 at Valley Parade to reach the FA Cup quarter finals. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Bradford City 2 Sunderland 0Bradford reacted to their television snub by adding another Premier League scalp to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for th(...)

Brian McCarthy has worked with the Ireland team since 2003, but has decided to pursue a new challenge in Sydney. Photograph: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

It started simply enough. Brian McCarthy was a school teacher and volunteer coach in Kerry who, inspired in his own youth by the genius of players lik(...)

Adam Johnson of Sunderland scores the winning goal late on in the premier league match against Newcastle at   St James’ Park. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1Newcastle United are supposed to be counter-attacking specialists but they ended up being hoist by their own petard as a brill(...)

 Republic of Ireland’s John O’Shea (left) celebrates with (r-l) Jeff Hendrick, James McClean and Jon Walters after his  equaliser in Gelsenkirchen. Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

There were echoes of Ibaraki, 2002, about Ireland’s draw in Gelsenkirchen but just about everything about October’s late equaliser seemed somehow mor(...)

Referee Kevin Friend shows a yellow card to Diego Costa of Chelsea after a clash with Sunderland’s Wes Brown during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty Images
The Sunday Morning Sports Briefing
  • Sport
  • November 30, 2014, 07:30

Diego Costa has missed enough Chelsea matches thanks to his dodgy hamstrings but the league leaders will miss him for Wednesday night’s league game(...)

Referee Kevin Friend shows a yellow card to Diego Costa of Chelsea after a clash with Sunderland’s Wes Brown  during the Premier League match  at the  Stadium of Light. Photograph:  Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho leapt to the defence of striker Diego Costa after a hard-fought encounter with Sunderland ended in a 0-0 draw at the Stadiu(...)

Diego Costa of Chelsea clashes with  John O’Shea of Sunderland during the  Premier League match  at Stadium of Light. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sunderland 0 Chelsea 0Willian and Santiago Vergini both hit the woodwork as Sunderland extended their run of good results against Chelsea with a 0-0 d(...)

Ciaran Clark challenges Irish team mate Shane Long during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park last night. Photograph:  Nick Potts/Pa

He mightn’t have featured at all if it wasn’t for a litany of recent injuries to Aston Villa’s centre backs, but Ciaran Clark’s performance during (...)