Sunderland captain Max Power says the Black Cats' success in cup formats will stand them in good stead for the forthcoming play-off challenge.

Lee Johnson's side have already won the Papa John's Trophy at Wembley this term, and enjoyed a good run in the League Cup last season.

The Wearsiders will face one of either Blackpool, Lincoln, Portsmouth, Oxford or Charlton in the two-legged semi-finals in mid-May, with the final positions decided in Sunday's fixtures.

While Power won't hide from the disappointment of missing out on an automatic promotion place - Sunderland could have gone top by winning their games in hand at one stage last month - the skipper insists his side are raring to go.

And ahead of their final-day game with Northampton, he says they can use their cup pedigree in what is in affect the knock-out football of the play-offs.

"I think there’s going to be disappointment - we can’t hide the fact that we didn’t manage to get automatic promotion," Power said.

"But I think that talk has to be firmly put to one side and we have to focus on the play-offs.

"A promotion is a promotion, no matter how you do it, and we’ve shown this season in cup formats that we’ve been good. It’s up to us now to finish the season strongly and get prepared.”

Sunderland have had the slight advantage of a free week, whereas their rivals for third place - Blackpool and Lincoln - were both in action last Tuesday night.

And Power is says the Black Cats squad are ready to enter the play-offs with 'all guns blazing'.

"Throughout this season it’s been such a hectic schedule that a lot of the time you’ve just been getting out there and recovering," he told

"Sometimes it’s nice to refresh the mind with a few days and then go back into training and work on things we think we can improve on.

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"We’re not always able to do that with the schedule that’s unfolded this season. We want to finish the season well, get ready and fly into these play-offs all guns blazing.”

"It would be nice to finish the season with three points and take that winning momentum to go into the play-offs, which are obviously a different occasion in themselves,” he continued.

"We want to finish with a win and I’m sure we’ll go out there and do everything we can to get the three points.”

Lee Johnson will make a late call on whether to include 30-goal striker Charlie Wyke and winger Aiden McGeady in his squad to face Northampton, although both have recovered from knocks which kept them out of last weekend's win at Plymouth.