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Interviews

Kewell Happy With FA Cup Switch

8 January 2021

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After speaking to the press earlier this week, the last 24 hours have presented an unprecedented and unusual change, with the Emirates FA Cup fixture changing venues.

With concerns of a frozen pitch, the game ultimately being postponed and as a result the loss of television revenue alongside other factors, The FA acted quickly alongside both clubs to come to the most logical and practical decision, one that the Head Coach fully supports.

“Ultimately logic came into it. Yes, preparations for us have slightly changed but it's nothing that we're not used to as we travelled the length of the country already in the league so we’re used to the long away trips, something that the lads enjoy as they get to spend time with each other before a game. 

“Yes, we have to travel far but we're going to Bournemouth, which is a fantastic stadium and fantastic pitch. So for us, like I said, it's going to be no different in terms of motivation needed, if anything it’s a real good opportunity for the lads to showcase their talent. 

“There would have obviously been a slight difference if we had the crowds in, but unfortunately we don't in the difficult times we live in, so again for me and my team, the only thing that we're doing differently is travelling down now instead of them coming to us. I think it's the right thing to do to make sure we could play the game. 

“We need to play the game for a number of reasons, one being the TV revenue we get. We didn't want to have the possibility of not playing it due to the fixture backlog, and then potentially getting thrown out for not even attempting or trying our best to find a resolution. So I think it worked out the right way in the end.”

With final preparations completed on Friday afternoon before the night over stay on the South Coast, Kewell knows that an extra focus is needed from his players against an opposition who will not give much away on the day.

“We know we're coming up against a top team that has obviously been hurt from last year, but they are pushing hard to get back into the Premier League, so it's going to be a huge test for us. 

“We're looking forward to it. We're going to do our best to compete at every opportunity and we're going to give it the best shot that we can give. If we do that, who knows what might happen, it’s the magic of the cup of course. The greatest competition not only in England but the world.

“But we have to take this game as any other game, we go down there with a belief that we've been carrying around with us from day one home or away. 

“We want to go out there and perform. We have to put a good effort in not only for ourselves but for the club and for the fans, and hopefully we can pull off something special as this club deserves days in the limelight again.”


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