Ward: Let's make most of FA Cup

Luton players including ex-Albion striker Stuart Fleetwood, third from left, celebrate their win over Wolves last season

Luton players including ex-Albion striker Stuart Fleetwood, third from left, celebrate their win over Wolves last season

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Stephen Ward admits it is time he was involved in an FA Cup run.

But he will be under no illusion as to the threat a lower division side can pose Albion on Saturday.

Ward was part of the Wolves side who were humbled by Conference side Luton Town last season.

He has never played in an FA Cup tie in February since coming over from Ireland during the 2006-07 season and was part of a 3-0 derby defeat at home to West Brom in his first ever tie.

Whether he plays on Saturday is probably in some doubt as Oscar Garcia balances the demands of the trip to Port Vale with a league campaign which resumes at high-flying Burnley on Tuesday.

Adam Chicksen got the nod in the third round and made an accomplished debut against Championship rivals Reading.

There is every chance Oscar could put Chicksen back in against the club two places above his former employers MK Dons in League One.

But whether he walks out at Vale Park or not, Ward will have words of caution for his colleagues if asked.

He would love to be part of a club who really get stuck into a Cup run this time rather than just getting it out of the way.

“We played plenty of tricky ties like this at Wolves,” he said.

“I was speaking about it the other day to a couple of the lads.

“When I was at Wolves our priority was usually promotion or battling against relegation. The FA Cup sometimes didn’t fulfil the potential it had.

“It’s the same here situation here in that we are trying to get promoted. But it would be nice to go on a run.

“I think the furthest I’ve ever got was the fifth round and that was in my early days at Wolves.”

Ward featured in the early stages of that run to the fifth round in 2007-08 but was not in the side which bowed out 2-0 away to a Cardiff City side who would go all the way to the final.

That was the year the competition opened up dramatically in the quarter-finals when Portsmouth won at Manchester United and, later the same afternoon, Barnsley beat Chelsea.

Defeat at Cardiff was not necessarily a shock for Wolves. Both sides were in the Championship at the time.

But fifth tier beat second tier at Kenilworth Road last term and Ward still remembers it vividly.

“Last year we lost at Luton,” he said when asked if he had been on the wrong end of a shock.

“It was one of those typical cup ties. The pitch was quite wet and muddy, a few decisions didn’t go our way, they battled hard and got the win.

“It was disappointing but that’s the magic of the FA Cup I suppose!"

Comments (3)

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5:24am Thu 23 Jan 14

Hugothepug says...

We defiantly need to find a good balance to come through this tie as Port Vale will be no mugs at home and Micky will have them proper fired up to get through to the fifth round. Be great to see a couple of youngsters out there while giving some of the big boys a rest but OG needs to be careful. Personally I would play a strong spine with some tricky wingers and see where this gets us. Too much inexperience and we leave ourselves open to bit of a shock as they are in a good bit of form at the mo and will be desperate to put one over a championship side and make some dough.

A fifth round draw and possible big name at the Amex could do wonders for our league form and may even tempt potential targets to join us before the window shuts. I for one would love a nice little cup run. Who knows get through this get a smaller side at home in the next round and suddenly we could be looking at the quarters! Just the confidence the boys need after the difficult week we've had.

Keep the faith. UTA
We defiantly need to find a good balance to come through this tie as Port Vale will be no mugs at home and Micky will have them proper fired up to get through to the fifth round. Be great to see a couple of youngsters out there while giving some of the big boys a rest but OG needs to be careful. Personally I would play a strong spine with some tricky wingers and see where this gets us. Too much inexperience and we leave ourselves open to bit of a shock as they are in a good bit of form at the mo and will be desperate to put one over a championship side and make some dough. A fifth round draw and possible big name at the Amex could do wonders for our league form and may even tempt potential targets to join us before the window shuts. I for one would love a nice little cup run. Who knows get through this get a smaller side at home in the next round and suddenly we could be looking at the quarters! Just the confidence the boys need after the difficult week we've had. Keep the faith. UTA Hugothepug
  • Score: 3

8:18am Thu 23 Jan 14

lowerbeedingseagull says...

Make no mistake about it,this will be a tough day for the Albion. I don't expect the pitch mowers have been used much this week at Vale Park so the pitch won't be anything like the ones Albion are used to in the Championship.

It will be a good test of the desire to progress. Let's hope a team to do the job is selected.
Make no mistake about it,this will be a tough day for the Albion. I don't expect the pitch mowers have been used much this week at Vale Park so the pitch won't be anything like the ones Albion are used to in the Championship. It will be a good test of the desire to progress. Let's hope a team to do the job is selected. lowerbeedingseagull
  • Score: 1

10:12am Thu 23 Jan 14

mark by the sea says...

Are we after promotion or a cup won? Injury to ulloa Saturday leaves us only with the " lethal " obika ... It's a banana skin. Defeat and more questions will be asked about team building, no point in signing players who can't improve our first 11... The suits have interesting 10 days to balance the books but sell season tickets next season.
I expect bridcutt to be sold by Friday ... Figure undisclosed .
Are we after promotion or a cup won? Injury to ulloa Saturday leaves us only with the " lethal " obika ... It's a banana skin. Defeat and more questions will be asked about team building, no point in signing players who can't improve our first 11... The suits have interesting 10 days to balance the books but sell season tickets next season. I expect bridcutt to be sold by Friday ... Figure undisclosed . mark by the sea
  • Score: -2

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