The game against Coventry was a potential banana skin of a tie and they were always capable of causing an upset if we had given them the chance to get going with the crowd behind them. But our lads never once gave them a sniff, it was a fully professional performance and we deserved to go through.
We were in control from the very first minute, got right into them and I can’t remember Sully making a save which is testament to the way we set about the job. We had some great passing movements in the game, perhaps some of the best passing we have produced this season.
>It was nice for Les to get on the scoresheet again even if it was a tap in! When you’re scoring goals, those type tend to come along and he was rewarded for following the ball in. Moves can quite easily go dead when the ball bounces off the post and rebounds out but Les was there on the spot like every good striker should be.
Our first goal was a typical strike from Gus, arriving in the box at the right time with a clinical finish. A great goal and a great performance. Gus was certainly helped by Simon Davies’ superb cross and he’s another player who has been outstanding in recent weeks.
From a personal point of view it was good to be back against Everton at the weekend. Nobody likes missing games and when you see the lads enjoying the way we’re playing, you don’t want to be out. To be honest, you don’t want to be on the sidelines at any time really, but even more so when things are going well.
I missed three games which I still feel I didn’t deserve to miss, but you have to take your punishment which is what I did.
It was a tough game on Saturday, we knew it would be as soon as we saw Ferguson on the teamsheet. From that moment, we knew they’d be launching balls, fighting for knock downs and flick ons, but it was testament to our defence that Everton didn’t have many chances on the day. We held firm and played very well in a difficult game.
Once we went in front, it would have been nice to have kept the lead for a bit longer than we did. When you play against teams like Everton, if you go a goal ahead it tends to open them up a bit. But they levelled almost straight away and continued to play five at the back with three in midfield and launched the ball whenever they got it which made it very hard to break down on a pitch which is becoming quite bobbly now.
It would be nice if it was back to its usual surface tonight since it makes it very difficult for us. It’s harder to be aware of everything else that is going on around you when you receive the ball because you have to watch the pass carefully in case it takes that final bounce which can often make you look like a fool.
We could have snatched a winner on Saturday, but Steffen Iversen said he just got nudged at the vital moment, sending his header off the top of the bar. There was never going to be many chances and that would have capped off a nice performance for us, it was a shame that didn’t go in.
Matthew Etherington impressed when he came on, we’d had good reports that he did very well at Bradford and there are a lot of clubs interested in him at the moment. He produced three or four very good crosses and terrorised their right-back for the final 20 minutes or so.
Tonight’s game is going to be another tough contest. The first leg was very tight and both teams have a chance this evening of progressing to a final, so everyone on the pitch will be giving it their best shot. Hopefully it will be us that comes out on top and, with your support, we’ll progress together.
Enjoy the game.
Following last week’s FA Cup success at Coventry and the home draw here against Everton on Saturday, we’re back in cup action tonight with a place in the Worthington Cup Final at stake.