Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Job done at the Madejski

Ramos, or "King of the Cups" as the Mirror are now calling him, made a few more changes to last night's team than I expected. But he sent out a side that played pretty well, got the right result and kept a clean sheet. The match may not have had all the goals and drama from the recent meetings between the two sides, but it was an effective cup performance away from home. And it means we now have a daunting trip to Old Trafford later this month.

With Berbatov lying low with a cold, Robbo celebrating the previous night's birth of his new son, and King rested as he continues to make progress from injury problems, there were some big names missing from the 16. Ramos also decided to rest Lennon and O'Hara from the starting eleven, meaning that although we weren't putting out a side as weakened as Reading did, we weren't at full strength.

And to be honest, we didn't need to be. We may have only won 1-0, and perhaps we could have tried to tighten the screw and looked for a second goal with a ittle more purpose, but we controlled the game and looked comfortable until the onslaught in the last five minutes.

When Ramos was asked afterwards about his last cup defeat, he needed a couple of minutes to remember before replying, "It was in the Copa Del Rey against Cadiz during my first year at Sevilla." Let's hope he can keep his record for a bit longer! We've a massive game against Arsenal on Tuesday which we are probably favourites for. And then we're off to ManUre the following weekend (where we are certainly not favourites). If we could only win one of those two, I hope it's the North London derby... as that would obviously mean a trip to Wembley next month.

Before we get too excited with the likes of cup finals, we need to beat Sunderland on Saturday... so all attention should be focused on picking up those three points.

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