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HK relishing first FA Cup tie as a coach

2006 winner would love to make more great memories

2 November 2017

Harry Kewell enjoyed the best of the FA Cup as a player – and he’d love to repeat that winning feeling as a coach.

Kewell was a Cup winner in 2006 when Liverpool beat West Ham on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

But that Cardiff occasion will be the last thing on his mind on Saturday when he takes charge of Reds for the first time in the competition at Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium.

“That final seems a long time ago now!” said Harry.

“Unfortunately, I picked up an injury and had to come off but obviously to win what I still think is the best cup competition in the world was a fantastic memory for me.

“I’d love to create some more as a coach now – and Saturday would be a great place to start.”

Reds reached the fifth round in successive seasons in 2011 and 2012 under Steve Evans and played in the third round in 2013 when Nicky Adams scored after 14 seconds against Premier League Reading.

But since then our FA Cup record has been disappointing with first-round exits to Bristol Rovers (twice) Yeovil and Luton Town.

We have had some tough draws and there wasn’t much luck about when ex-Reds boss Dean Saunders drew this year’s first-round ties and sent us to the League One high-fliers.

But HK is relishing the chance of pulling off what would be a big surprise against a side unbeaten at home with only two League goals conceded at the DW.

“It’s an interesting one,” said Harry. “Obviously it’s going to be a difficult tie but looking at how they set up they will try and play and that might suit us rather than having go to a non-league team where it’s all a bit of an unknown.

“The club has never played Wigan before and I’m sure we will have a good turnout of fans up there. Preparation this week has been good. A lot of the players got game-time on Tuesday (in the Sussex Senior Cup) and we had a practice game on Wednesday against the under-23s which was a very useful exercise as well.

“We’ll train in the north-west on Friday. Our away record is good and while we know our concentration levels will have to be at their best for 90-plus minutes on Saturday we do feel we can get a positive result.”

If Saturday's game ends in a draw, the replay will be on Tuesday November 14, kick off 7.45pm at the Checkatrade Stadium


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