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Fletcher keen to kick-start Albion's cup prospects

10 February 2016

Albion skipper was touched by Astle Day

DARREN Fletcher wants to rekindle Albion's FA Cup sparkle - starting with tonight's Fourth Round replay against Peterborough (KO 7.45pm).

The Albion captain has great affection for a competition that provided him with his first trophy at Manchester United. 

Fletcher was part of the United side that won the 2004 FA Cup, beating Millwall 3-0.

Last season opened his eyes to how important the FA Cup was to Albion fans.

The 1968 FA Cup Final success became a backdrop and frequent reference point during the build up and actual day of Albion's Jeff Astle celebration last year.

Fletcher is keen to tap into the club's proud, albeit dormant, FA Cup pedigree.

"The FA Cup means a lot to me," he said. 

"It was the very first trophy I won (in 04). I've had the disappointment of losing two finals - we battered Arsenal in 05 but lost on penalties and then we played in a dull final against Chelsea where we lost by the odd goal but didn't do ourselves justice. 

"But it holds good memories because it was the first thing I won for United.

"You can see from the fans who turned out to both home games against Bristol City and Peterborough that there is a real appetite to do well in the FA Cup. It shows that the fans want to do well in this competition.

"Our target is to get to Wembley. At that stage anything can happen."

He added: "The history of the competition is definitely within the club. We had a day for the great man Jeff Astle last year which had a lot of cup memories attached to it. 

"Well let's go out there and create new memories for fans that will be remembered for years to come.

"The FA Cup has a great history. You can get luck in the cup, it can give you believe. - there is a great opportunity for us, starting with tonight's game. 

"It's not an easy challenge tonight but one we're striving for.

"After every bad performance you want that next game to get it out of your system. We can't hide behind our performance at Newcastle on Saturday. It was disappointing, but we have to pick ourselves up very quickly."

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