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CUPS OF CHEER

Posted on 11 January 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton is delighted with how we've shrugged off last season's cup disappointments to compete on all three cup fronts so far this season.

Chris Hughton is delighted with how we've shrugged off last season's cup disappointments to compete on all three cup fronts so far this season.

Early exits against Grimsby Town and Leicester City hit hard last term but we've responded with nine wins and a draw in 10 cup ties this time around, including six of the best in reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.

Victories over MK Dons, Port Vale and Southend have set up a semi-final cracker over two legs against Arsenal in the Carling Cup while we went into the hat for the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday after a gritty goalless draw in the third round at Cardiff City on Sunday. We replay against the Bluebirds at the Lane next Wednesday (January 17) and the winners face either Barnsley or Southend (who replay next Tuesday) at home in round four.

So it's certainly been a case of so far, so good, in cup competitions. "The most important thing for us going into the season was to continue to make progress," reasoned assistant boss Chris at Spurs Lodge.

"If I look at the areas we could make progress from last season, in the league we knew it would be tough and that's the standard we've set ourselves while in the cups, we wanted to improve on what happened last season.

"At this particular moment in time, apart from the draw against Cardiif, we couldn't have done much better than we have done in the cup competitions with the UEFA Cup the additional competition from last season. That is down to the players.

"One thing we've had to do this season because of the amount of games is change the team around more, particularly in the Carling Cup. It's about utilising the squad and certainly not what I would describe as rotation, but being able to utilise the squad has been a strength for us this season."