Hunt: FA Cup Not a Hindrance
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 06:00
Stephen Hunt does not see the FA Cup as a hindrance to Town’s promotion challenge – in fact far from it.
Ahead of Town’s third round replay against Southampton at Portman Road he said: “The way I see it we’re five or six games away from Wembley and it’s a chance to win some silverware.
“The older you get the more you want to win medals. Okay, we’re living the dream a bit there and we’ll just take each game as it comes.
“Right now Wembley seems so far away but generally, if you win two or three games, all of a sudden you are in the quarter-final and only one game away from Wembley because they play the semi-finals there.
“Southampton are a very good team but we’ll be looking to get an FA Cup atmosphere going, have a right good go at them and try to win.
“To a certain degree you could say that cup-ties get in the way but for me the FA Cup is pretty special. Millwall, our next league opponents, are involved in an FA Cup replay at Bradford on the same night so we’re all in the same boat come Saturday because we’ll all have played an extra game during the week.
“It could make a difference if their team was fresher, but that’s not the case so we can go full tilt on Wednesday.
“It will be anything but easy. Southampton have just gone to Manchester United and won. It’s magnificent no matter how you do it – whether you dominate possession or you defend for your life. It’s a great result for them and I’m sure they will be coming here with plenty of confidence.
“They are all good players to be playing in the Premiership, week in and week out, but Steven Davis was outstanding in the first game.
"He’ll be delighted to hear me saying that but at the same time we have to make sure he’s not going to be effective at Portman Road.
“I thought we did okay in the first half down there when we put a bit of pressure on them. Then they absolutely dominated the life out of us for the next 60 minutes and we defended well as a team against a side who are now third in the Premiership and raising a few eyebrows.
“It’s impossible to say how the replay will go. It’s all about circumstances. The Portman Road pitch is very good but it’s not as good as Southampton’s so it won’t be as easy for them to pass the ball as well as they did at their place.
“We’ll be looking to make it a typical FA Cup game, try to even it up and try to get a result.”
Hunt has been impressed by the way Southampton not only coped with the departure last summer of several key players but have actually prospered thanks to the many astute signings made by ex-Holland star Ronald Koeman, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino as manager after the Argentinian was lured to Tottenham.
He said: “It might have seemed they were making a few horrendous decisions, selling all their players, but in the end they were very shrewd and it looks like very good business for them. They are doing very well, so fair play to them.”
Photo: Action Images
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