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Wilson's tightrope

Wilson Palacios admits it's been tough walking a disciplinary tightrope for the best part of two months.

Wilson Palacios admits it's been tough walking a disciplinary tightrope for the best part of two months.

The all-action midfielder picked up his ninth yellow card in the FA Cup draw at Bolton on February 14 leaving him one booking away from a two-match suspension.

Since then, Wilson has got through another seven matches knowing that another disciplinary blip could have kept him out of the FA Cup replay against Bolton, then the ties against Fulham and most concerning, Sunday's big FA Cup semi-final against Portsmouth at Wembley.

"It's been difficult knowing in the last six or seven games that I've been so close to missing games, especially with the way I play, which is an all-action style, looking to get stuck in," said the Honduran international.

"I've had to be really focused but I've also understood that one tackle might rule me out of the next two matches, so I've had to be careful."

Wilson was on the bench for the 2-0 win against Pompey at the Lane on March 27 as he rested an adductor problem. We ran out comfortable winners that day but Wilson stressed that Sunday is very much a different set of circumstances with the FA Cup Final the major prize.

"Yes, it's a completely different game," he said. "We might have beaten them in the league but this is a one-off and we have to try and play well. They will be looking forward to the occasion as well.

"We have to be aware that they had a lot of key players missing on that day and picked up injuries as well. Some of those players might be back. As I said, it will be a completely different game."