Club News

Fletcher's focus is all on Derby

The skipper previews a tricky third round tie

THE FA Cup comes to The Hawthorns on Saturday with Albion looking to end a 49 year wait for the trophy. 

But just how tough it is to get your hands on the cup is underlined by the fact that even skipper Darren Fletcher, a winner of all kinds of titles in his time at Manchester United, has only once collected an FA Cup winner’s medal. 

“I was lucky enough to win an FA Cup winner’s medal, but it’s a while ago now, back in my first season in the team at Manchester United, 2004, when we beat Millwall. To be able to replicate that in May would be fantastic, but it’s a long road to the final”. 

Albion embark on this season’s campaign with a tricky tie against Derby County, riding high in the Championship and having sold out their ticket allocation, taking the whole of the Smethwick End. 

Fletcher is adamant that nobody at The Hawthorns is underestimating the size of the task on Saturday.

“They’ve been in very good form since Steve McClaren went there, they’re hard to break down, they have a lot of quality and they are one of the best sides in the Championship. 

“They’ll have a right go and try to put us under pressure, their crowd will be right behind them so hopefully, we can pack out The Hawthorns and enjoy another great atmosphere here for a proper cup-tie. 

"You can’t get ahead of yourself in the cup, that’s the beauty of knock-out football. 

"You need a bit of luck with the draw and the bounce of the ball, but most of all, you need to bring out some good performances at the right times. 

"And we will need one of those on Saturday”. 

Riding high in eighth place in the Premier League, the skipper is clear just how important it is that Albion’s season progresses on two fronts in this new year. 

“We were really disappointed to lose to Reading last season, that knocked us about a bit, because we were desperate for a good cup run. Hopefully we can get started on a new one on Saturday. 

“We’ve got home advantage, which is all you can hope for in the draw, but we won’t take Derby lightly. We know they’re bringing a good following with them too, so I’m really looking forward to the game”.