This coming Saturday it will be five years to the day since we crashed 2-1 at Championship outfit Leeds United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Jan Vertonghen was in the side that day, his debut season in English football. It was also his first ever FA Cup tie, playing the full 90 minutes,picking up a booking towards the end in front of a hostile Elland Road crowd.
Speaking on the club website the Belgian stopper said: “It was a while ago, we lost 2-1 and it was a very tough experience,Away games are always tough in the FA Cup, everyone is up for it, especially against a Premier League team and we suffered that day, but we know what to expect.
He added: “The smaller teams have always got their own crowd behind them and they’re always a bit extra-motivated, but we’re used to away games and we have to cope with it. We have to be professional.”
Since that disappointing day at Leeds,we’ve faced teams from outside the Premier League in domestic cup ties on 12 occasions, winning 11 and drawing one – the second leg of our aggregate victory over Sheffield United in the League Cup semi-finals of 2014-15 and the article says according to Jan, a lot of that has been down to mentality.
“We’ve been working on that,” he said, referring to the concentration shown by the squad in those previous cup outings. “I think this team has great focus, we know what we want and I’m very proud of that.
He added: “We’ve got a very professional team that will approach this game against Newport in a very good way. We just have to approach it in the way we approach Premier League games, which we definitely will.”
Jan has made the most appearances by any players for the club this seasons and the centre back is enjoying his football: “I feel like I’m playing the best football I’ve played in recent years and I feel very good with my team-mates around me and with the work we’re doing here,” said the 30-year-old, who scored his first goal in over four years in our 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the previous round of the FA Cup.I try to do some extra bits, I feel very good and I think you can see that on the pitch.”
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