Sebastian Larsson has told Sunderland’s official website that a return to FA Cup competition brings with it mixed emotions.
The Black Cats are due to face Fulham in fourth round action on Saturday.
Gus Poyet’s men will be strong favourites against Championship opposition, particularly on home soil.
Larsson hopes a cup run can be sparked this season, but admits a break from Premier League duties comes at a bad time.
Sunderland are still smarting after going down 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur last time out and would have welcomed an opportunity to right a few wrongs in the league.
Larsson told the club’s official website: “I’m not sure if it’s nice to have a break from the league because you can look at it in many ways.
"At the moment it’s frustrating that we’re not getting the points on the board, but it’s also good to turn your attention to a different competition.”
“It’s a good opportunity to get back to winning ways and bounce back from the disappointment of losing so late in the game to Spurs, and it also gives us another chance to play in our new system and get more familiar with it.
“Of course it is also very exciting to have a cup run as we well know, so when the Fulham game comes around we’ll be up for it as we want to progress and do as well as we can in the competition.”
Sunderland have already seen off one second-tier foe in this season’s FA Cup, with Leeds United edged out 1-0 at the previous stage.
That success is the only one Poyet’s side have secured in their last six games in all competitions.
They have slipped to within one point of the Premier League drop zone as a result, but have been able to add Jermain Defoe to their ranks as they endeavour to start moving in a positive direction.