Monday 10th January 2010
Many of the seasons where we have gone on to win the FA Cup included replays and more often than not after a disappointing home draw. Although not an ideal result, with a few minutes left on the clock on Saturday afternoon I definitely would have taken the second bite of the cherry Cesc's late penalty has given us.
Some of you will remember the run to Wembley back in 1979. It took five attempts to overcome third division Sheffield Wednesday. Few would have predicted that we would then go on to lift the trophy in May.
The 1997/98 campaign goes down as a phenomenal season in our history but it really didn't look that way in our 0-0 draw at home to Port Vale. Even less so perhaps when it took extra time and a penalty shoot-out to see us progress in the away replay!
We were definitely a bit below par on Saturday although we probably created enough chances to win comfortably on another day. Consequently I don't feel we did enough to deserve to go through but I don't believe we deserved to go out either. Overall then, a second chance to do battle, however unwelcome it is in our congested fixture list, is probably just about right from the day.
Two other games need to be completed before we turn to the replay of course, both hugely different for a number of reasons.
The first sees us head to a part of the country we haven't visited for a while and the first leg of our Carling Cup tie against Ipswich. With so little time between fixtures there is absolutely no room to let Saturday's disappointment take control. If we can't be confident and up for a semi-final then there is something wrong.
If Saturday demonstrated one thing however, it’s that a game against any opposition in the Cup is never easy. With the right attitude (and I mean both the players and us fans), we know we can travel home on Wednesday night satisfied with the 'half-time' score.
Our large away allocation leaves no excuses guys, let's make some noise!
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