Was Hughton Right After All?
Chris Hughton has been hammered in recent weeks for "showing no respect for the FA Cup" by playing reserves in Newcastle's cup ties. But he insists he feared injuries to his star players, and promotion is his priority. And West Brom - who are challenging Newcastle for promotion and knocked us out of the FA Cup - are facing a tough fixture pile-up AND an injury crisis. West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo was in dour mood as he reflected on injuries to Abdoulaye Meite and Gonzalo Jara which will stretch his promotion-chasing squad following their 2-2 draw with Reading in the FA Cup. Jara was replaced at the break by Youssouf Mulumbu, who lasted just 16 minutes before he picked up two bookings, while centre-half Meite failed to reappear after being caught by Long's wild challenge. Di Matteo: "I am sad today because we lost three players to injury and suspension and we could do without that. "Jara had to have five stitches, it was a very bad challenge, and we will have to wait and see about Meite. "It's not part of the plan to have a replay as we have lots of games coming up but we are happy to be still in the cup. "I said that we would love to have a cup run this season and we are still in it." FA Cup holders Chelsea have been handed a home quarter-final against either Manchester City or Stoke ... with the prospect of an interesting John Terry v Wayne Bridge clash at Stamford Bridge. FA CUP SIXTH ROUND DRAW Chelsea v Man City/Stoke City Fulham v Bolton/Tottenham Reading/West Brom v Crystal Palace/Aston Villa Portsmouth v Birmingham City Ties to be played over the weekend of March 6
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