Club News

Morrison looking to turn tables on Harry

And midfielder says cup silverware is next step in Albion evolution

JAMES Morrison is hoping Harry Redknapp does not spoil his FA Cup dream again in Saturday’s third-round clash at QPR (ko 3pm).

The Hawthorns midfielder was part of the Baggies team that suffered a cruel 1-0 semi-final defeat by Portsmouth – then managed by the current Rangers boss – at Wembley in 2008.

Ex-Albion man Kanu bagged the winner for the then-Premier League outfit, with TV replays later showing Milan Baros handled the ball in the build-up, before Robert Koren later struck the crossbar for Tony Mowbray’s Championship side.

It was not to be for Morrison and his team-mates and almost five years down the line, the Scotland international is hoping luck swings the visitors’ way at Loftus Road this weekend.

“We got the chance to play at Wembley in 2008 and it was a great experience,” he said.

“As you get older you want those types of games.

“Portsmouth were the strongest team left in the hat and it’s down to the luck of the draw.

“We thought if we beat them we may have one hand on the cup, although it doesn’t always work out that way.

“It wasn’t to be and we gave it our all.

“I think on the day we were the better team and, with a bit of luck, we could have won.

“We took the positives from that game and it set us up for the run that saw us lift the Championship trophy that year.

“In football the luck evens itself out.

“On that day it wasn’t on our side but I’m sure over the season we got it.”

Steve Clarke’s men will have their Barclays Premier League 2-1 Boxing Day triumph at Loftus Road fresh in their memories.

But Morrison believes Albion will face a different proposition ten days on, after the struggling R’s secured an impressive 1-0 top-flight win at the home of European Champions Chelsea in midweek.

“I think them beating Chelsea goes against us really,” he added.

“If you beat a top-four side you’re going to get confidence from it.

“There will be a buzz around the place, whereas we’re probably the opposite after coming off a defeat – and everyone is a bit doom and gloom.

“But we’ve got another opportunity to go away from home, where we’ve played them in recent weeks and got a victory there.

“I definitely think coming off their victory the crowd will be more positive, the players will be feeling good about themselves beating Chelsea, and everyone will be up for it.

“I don’t know if they are going to make a few changes or keep the momentum going, so it’s going to be a tough ask for the team - but one we believe we’re ready for.”

Morrison is no stranger to cup success having reached the 2006 UEFA Cup Final with Middlesbrough and helped Boro lift the FA Youth Cup two years earlier.

 And he sees securing silverware as the next stage in the Baggies’ evolution.

“We’ve had a great start in the league and if we keep going the 50-point mark is on target,” he said.

“Most of the players want a cup run.

“I keep referring back to Wembley and I fancy a little cup run.

“Sometimes you get the best games going to lower league teams – we went to Bristol City in 2008 and that was a great day out.

“Winning a cup is the next step for the club going forward; silverware, if we can get it, is the next objective.

“Last season we finished tenth and if we finish in the top half again, we may do, we may not, it’ll be good.

“It looks like we’re going to stay in the league so silverware is the aim to get the club forward.

“The Championship was the last silverware we got and it’s pretty obvious we should have been doing that.

“Now we’ve got to take the next step.

“We’ve got to keep progressing, you can’t just sit on your good work.

“You have to keep going.

“That’s what all the top teams do and for a club like this to win a cup would be magnificent.

“If I did look back at games I could say the cups have been good to me and are games I will always remember.”