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Wembley dream for Whelan and Wigan
Published : 11 Mar 2013 08:47:18
The FA Cup semi-final draw threw up a potential Manchester derby blockbuster - but it is the other tie which could fulfil of a dream for one of its protagonists.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has painful memories of the 1960 final when, as a Blackburn player, his Wembley experience was ended before half-time by a broken leg. His current club were rewarded for the quarter-final win at Everton with a tie against the winners of Rovers' replay with Millwall - and Whelan may even lead the team out should the cross-Lancashire reunion take place.
While pragmatic enough to admit Barclays Premier League survival remains priority number one, he told Sky Sports News: "The dream is there. All Blackburn have got to do now is get through the replay and my dream is on, I can go to Wembley and (we can) play against Blackburn Rovers."
He added: "When you've been to Wembley and got what I got, a broken leg and Rovers went on to lose 3-0, it's very upsetting. I feel I've got unfinished business at Wembley.
"Roberto's (Martinez) asked me to lead them out at Wembley and if we get Blackburn, I may just say yes."
And Whelan added: "The performance they put on at Everton was stunning, in the first half we played Everton off the park and should've been four up."
Millwall and Blackburn will replay on Wednesday after a goalless draw at the Den. Andy Keogh hit the post and Danny Shittu stretched keeper Jake Kean with a 40-yard bolt from the blue as the hosts created the better chances.
The three Premier League big guns left in the draw were grouped together in the second semi-final, with the winners of Manchester United's replay against Chelsea going through to face Manchester City.
Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney gave United a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes at Old Trafford but well-taken second-half goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires earned Chelsea a replay. City, in contrast, brushed off Championship Barnsley 5-0 as Carlos Tevez shrugged off his latest off-field controversy to score a hat-trick and set up his side's other two goals.