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'Realistic' Gus had no final plans

SundeRland boss Gus Poyet insists Premier League survival remains his over-riding priority as he targets an unlikely treble.

The League Cup finalists will attempt to book a place in the FA Cup fifth round today when Skrill Premier Kidderminster head for the Stadium of Light looking to shock the men who dumped Manchester United out of the League Cup.

However, Poyet, who arrived on Wearside to take charge of a club seemingly destined for the Championship, will not be swayed from the mission for which he was appointed by a Wembley date with Manchester City in March.

He said: "The challenge is to stay in the Premier League. That was my challenge when I got the job."

Poyet has spent much of his time at Sunderland to date fighting to drag the Black Cats to within touching distance of league safety, and admitted that leading his team out at Wembley did not figure even in his wildest dreams. He said: "No. I am realistic, no."

ESSIEN POISED FOR AC MILAN SWITCH

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien is poised to move to AC Milan from Chelsea.

The 31-year-old has found opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge since returning from a loan spell at Real Madrid last season.

Milan were one of a number of interested parties and yesterday announced Essien is expected in northern Italy later in the evening.

Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon for £24.4million in 2005.

Meanwhile, Everton have completed the signing of Monaco forward Lacina Traore on loan until the end of the season.


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