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Powell sets sights on Wembley trip

07 Mar 2014 13:31:57

Powell sets sights on Wembley trip

Manager Chris Powell wants to put an end to the jokes about Charlton and the FA Cup.

The Addicks have a laughable modern-day record in the competition but are now on the verge of a first semi-final since 1947, the year of their one and only triumph.

And if they can get past Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday, Charlton will be back at Wembley for the first time since their epic 4-4 play-off final and penalty shoot-out win over Sunderland in 1998.

"It's a competition I always feel is one we traditionally don't do well in," said Valley boss Powell.

"It's a bit of a standing joke, Charlton and the cups, but we have turned that around somewhat, which is pleasing.

"It's certainly captured the imagination of our supporters, which is the number one priority for me.

"Of course we still have a big game to negotiate but I'm determined to get us to the new Wembley as we haven't been there yet.

"We were at the old one in 1998 and everyone knows what happened for us that year, so it would be wonderful to get to Wembley again and have 30,000 red and white fans there."

Charlton may have the small matter of a Championship relegation battle on their hands, but Powell insists the FA Cup is also a priority.

The fact Wigan lifted the trophy and were relegated last season has not put the former Addicks full-back off, despite his side currently lying in the drop zone.

"I'm going to take both, why not? Why not do as well as you can in the cup?" he said.

"I think it's a wonderful competition, always have done. People of my age grew up with the final as the showpiece game.

"The Champions League and whatever may have diluted it slightly but when it gets to the last 16 or last eight, people start dreaming about being in the semis, the final or even winning it.

"Teams should take it seriously, it's something you can win!

"Look at Wigan and what they did last year, albeit they ended up dropping down. But the memories will be with that club, the players, manager and supporters forever. The goalscorer Ben Watson is etched in history now.

"We've taken it seriously, as have a number of teams, and all of a sudden we find ourselves in the last eight and possibly the last four.

"Our Championship status is important to us but ask the fans how they are feeling. I'm sure they are dreaming about beyond Sheffield, and so am I."


PA

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