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Niko's perfect timing

Posted on 3 January 2010  - 12:00

Niko Kranjcar felt his cracker against Posh came at just the right time as we eventually ran out convincing winners in Saturday's FA Cup tie.

Niko's perfect timing

Niko Kranjcar felt his cracker against Posh came at just the right time as we eventually ran out convincing winners in Saturday's FA Cup tie.

The in-form Croatian star delivered again with two goals in the 4-0 win including an absolute beauty from 20 yards to open the scoring in the 35th minute.

It was just what we needed after dominating from the first whistle but somehow failing to register. Niko and Jermain Defoe hit the crossbar while Joe Lewis in the Posh goal kept out Robbie Keane twice and Tom Huddlestone.

Lewis wasn't finished there, either. After Niko's goal, he produced another three saves right out of the top drawer to deny Jermain, Tom and Gareth Bale before half-time and then Keano again two minutes into the second half.

Niko, JD and Robbie all eventually got the better of him as we booked a fourth round tie at home to Leeds United, the giant-killers of the third round after Sunday's shock 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

"I'm happy I scored the goals but even happier that we proved again how serious we are in every single game," said Niko. "We maintained our great form of recent weeks and it was a good win."

Niko said it was just a case of biding our time. "It can get frustrating, especially with the chances and the possession we had, but it was about passing the ball well and being patient.

"We hit the crossbar twice, forced some great saves from the goalkeeper and you start getting a little edgy, so we scored at the right time in the first half and then the second and third goals in the second half killed it off."

The game marked the first time that Niko and fellow Croatian Luka Modric had started together with Niko lining up on the left and Luka on the right, both given license to roam and both praised afterwards by Harry Redknapp.

"We're both natural midfielders, we like to drift inside and we cause teams problems," added Niko. "Our relationship on the pitch is always great and we proved that again."