Meanwhile, Rangers manager Graeme Murty will delay naming his team for the visit of Celtic to give the likes of Russell Martin and Jamie Murphy every chance of making Sunday's Ladbrokes Premiership clash. "When you're the champions you play with the expectancy of the supporters, so there's always pressure". And I think that's all that was.
"They will look to play better than what they did in the last pressure game that they had which was against Hibs, when Hibs played very well and won the game".
Speaking to the media at Lennoxtown ahead of Sunday's showdown, the midfielder acknowledged Rangers' impressive recent form but is confident his side can continue their unbeaten run against their neighbours.
Sunderland must be anxious about losing players in the summer window with a drop down to League One looking more likely than not right now.
"It's always the way in football, when things are successful, it's a brilliant place to work".
There's huge pressure on Rangers in the game but for us, we'll have a good working week and go into that game and work as well as well can.
He said: "We are delighted that Alfredo has committed his future to the club today".
"I'm just going game by game".
Rodgers has not lost in eight games against Rangers since taking over in 2016 and has won three out of three at Ibrox. The second time they were talking about the managerial situation. They're always hard games but we've always stepped up to the challenge and played very well. Going forward, we're a big threat. I think people would acknowledge that.
Bates said: "After the game, we were buzzing having got to a semi-final and any team we'd have got in the draw we'd have cheered".
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