West Ham arrive at the Lane on Wednesday evening in the Carling Cup 3rd round - our reward for the 3-0 victory over Coventry City at the 2nd round stage. A full house will be in place for the London derby and Dean considers it vital to progress in the competition after last season's cup disappointments.
"Definitely, you go into every game trying to win it," reflected the central defender. "We got to the final of this competition two years ago and, although people do tend to underestimate it, it is still a great final and a great day out for the fans.
"We're trying to get as far as we can in it and this club has got a great cup tradition. Even when I was a lad in Bradford I remember Spurs as being a great cup team. So we want to do well and in every competition we enter.
"Cup football is definitely different," added Dean, who feels the excitement of the knock-out nature of the games and anticipation of the draw only adds to the occasions. "I think the supporters enjoy it as it is make or break on the night and full blooded football - that's what the supporters like to see.
"It does keep the season ticking along nicely, there are different elements like the excitement of seeing who you get drawn against in the next round."
Dean Richards believes that a staple diet of cup football keeps the season ticking along and provides a welcome distraction from Premiership combat.