After our poor form of late in the league, it’s nice to have a cup game to try and get back to winning ways as we aim to continue our cup run.
We managed to set up this game thanks to a great result in the third round at Southampton three weeks ago. It was tough as we were playing away from home against a fellow Premier League team but I felt we did really well. Wardy deservedly got his goal after good determination to get into the box, but even after they began to throw bodies forward I felt we handled ourselves pretty well.
There’s no shortage of character in the team and after being pegged back just after half-time it was great to see the boys respond in the way they did which ended with Wilfried getting the winner, so that was very pleasing. Having gone a few games without a win before that, it was great to taste victory again.
It was nice to see players like Bakary Sako, Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh get some game time and overall we played in a true cup fashion by going for it, and thankfully we were on the winning side and progressed to this stage.
This is a wonderful competition and any player who is involved is going to want to win the FA Cup, and we’re no different. It’s always nice when the manager speaks publically about wanting to do that and is intent on playing his strongest possible side, but you still have to go out there and do your job.
Despite not being from this country, the competition still means a lot to me. The FA Cup finals were always televised back in Australia, meaning a late night for us on that side of the world but they’re the games that stick out in my memories of English football when I was growing up, watching the great Liverpool and Manchester United sides of the time. The cup has a rich history, so even from an Australian point of view it has a big pull.
It would be incredible to get my hands on the trophy but we’re still a few rounds away from that. Our next test is a home tie which is what we wanted, and we were paired with Stoke City. Once again it’s going to be a tricky game as it’s another all-Premier League tie but we’re at home and we back ourselves against anyone here.
It was only last month that we beat them at the Britannia Stadium in the league thanks to Chung-yong Lee’s wonderful late goal, but this is a different competition and a one-off game so it gets approached a little bit differently. Having the win not too long ago is good as we have fond memories of playing Stoke, but we’re going to have to do it again and it’s going to be tough. We have to approach it with confidence as we aim to rediscover that winning feeling.
Cup games always bring about excitement in the stands and I’ll be looking forward to hearing your support again. Hopefully we’ll give you something to cheer by getting into the draw for the fifth round on Monday and one step closer to making history.