TOWN manager Mark Robins is excited at getting a second shot at the FA Cup, but insists the league remains the main priority.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN manager Mark Robins is excited at getting a second shot at the FA Cup, but insists the league remains the main priority.
Robins welcomes Premier League strugglers Wigan to the John Smith’s Stadium tomorrow, where a win would send his team into the last eight of the competition for the first time in 41 years.
It would not be the worst way for Robins to mark his first game in charge.
He left behind a Coventry team that he had led from the bottom reaches of League I towards the play-off places and into the Northern Area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
But he was unable to steer the Sky Blues past the third round of the FA Cup, where they were beaten by Tottenham, and he is looking forward to seeing how his new charges cope with Roberto Martinez’s Premier League outfit.
“This is a different challenge,” he said.
“Roberto’s teams always play good football and it is a game to look forward to.
“I think all games have to be viewed as an opportunity and we get to pit our wits against Premier League opposition.”
Town’s last appearance in the fifth round was also against top-tier opposition, but they were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in 2008. They last reached the quarter-finals in 1972.
On that occasion, a West Ham side featuring Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Harry Redknapp were sent packing from Leeds Road, before Town were knocked out by Birmingham in the next round.
That campaign ended with Town being relegated from the second tier, and with the current side sitting just three points above the drop zone, Robins is wary of how important it is to retain the club’s Championship status this season.
“Every club is an individual and faces its own challenges,” he said. “At the moment we have to try and get the work done at Canalside for the start of next pre-season, but we have a 14-game league season in which we have to try and pick up points to climb the table.”