The Black Cats made it to the quarter-finals of the competition last campaign and O'Neill is looking for a similar performance this time around ahead of Saturday's trip to Bolton.
"Last season we got through to the quarter finals, which was the furthest the club has been in the competition for some time," O'Neill told the club's official website.
"We certainly want to emulate that, so whatever side we put out tomorrow we want to compete. This is a competition we want to do well in.
"A win in the cup can give your season a bit of momentum. It's a good boost to the confidence."