Can Hughton Say: 'I Told You So'?

24 February 2010 11:26
West Brom were on course to battle for the top spot in the Championship on Sunday when they went a goal up at Ashton Gate. Then they went into third gear . and the wheels fell off! The big question is . DID THEY HAVE THE FA CUP ON THEIR MIND? And that was just what Chris Hughton feared would happen to Newcastle United! Yes we gave him stick on this website for playing the kids at Peterborough (League Cup) and at Plymouth and Albion in the FA Cup . because many felt he was disrespectful both to the competitions and to the Toon fans who travelled to support their team. Playing the reserves certainly backfired at Home Park, because a victory against a very poor Argyle side was inevitable, until the kids didn't finish off Plymouth when they had them on the rack. That meant a replay . the last thing the players needed. West Brom knocked us out of the cup, and they have their own fixture congestion, with a replay against Reading tonight. West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson has set his sights on a quarter-final derby clash with Aston Villa, and all the trimmings that goes with it . and suddenly we feel envious. But could the cup run have them licking the windows at SJP if WE go up and THEY don't? The Baggies know victory could see them face their West Midlands rivals for a place in a Wembley semi-final. Villa are expected to dispose of Championship strugglers Crystal Palace, and although Carson knows Reading will be no pushover at the Hawthorns, the 24-year-old sees Wembley as the target. Carson: "We want to get through and, who knows, maybe we will get Villa in the next round. "We know that we have got other priorities in the league, but this is the FA Cup. "I've never been this far and to be just two games from Wembley is exciting for everyone. "What we don't want is extra-time. "It's bad enough we have a replay because we could have done with the time off this week to clear some injuries. "But we know there is a big prize waiting for us if we can get good results in the cup."