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COTTAGE HIGH

Posted on 18 June 2007  - 12:00

Anthony Gardner felt the FA Cup demolition of Fulham in February provided a crucial turning point in the second half of last season.

Anthony Gardner felt the FA Cup demolition of Fulham in February provided a crucial turning point in the second half of last season.

We travelled to Craven Cottage in the fifth round of the competition on the back of successive league defeats against Manchester United and Sheffield United and with our exit in the Carling Cup at the hands of Arsenal still fresh in the memory – it was one of the few low periods during last term.

However, Robbie Keane’s stunning volley opened the scoring and appeared to galvanise the team - we went on to win 4-0, were soon beating Everton at Goodison and from that point only lost three of our last 19 games in all competitions, winning 10.

“I remember in the changing room beforehand that a few words were said and we all knew we needed a big performance,” reflected Anthony, who started in central defence alongside Michael Dawson in Ledley King’s absence.

“It was the FA Cup fifth round, we knew it would be a hard-fought London derby and we'd been there a couple of weeks before and had to come back to draw 1-1.

“This time around we were on our games collectively and put in one of the best performances of the season.

“Everything seemed to click from there - we only lost one league game after that.”

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