A Visit to Wembley
The bookmakers simply cannot separate the two teams. I am a bit surprised that we have not been seen as favourites since we have beaten “bigger” teams on our way to the final. If I was a betting man then I would put money on my team causing another cup upset and completing the ‘Giant Killing Journey’ to the final.
Pre Match Preview
We cannot take for granted that in the one previous match against Queens Park Rangers we won 4-1, this was a friendly. In fact it was the last friendly of preseason, which means that this match will be a totally different affair with both teams striving to get that cup in their trophy cabinet.
Queens Park Rangers set up exactly how I thought they would. They do have the making of a very good team, apart from, in my opinion, their striking options. With the outstanding form that my back four and goalkeeper have been in this season, I didn’t see Bobby Zamora and Esteban Granero as much of a threat. Danny Ward had suffered yet another goal drought in all competitions yet he managed to end this with a goal against Bristol City in the last game of the Championship season. I felt he had repaid the faith I had shown in him and I was looking for him to make an impact in this game. The other reason for him starting is that I thought we would be better of relying on Jermaine Beckford to come on and grab us a goal if we needed someone to.
I have to admit the one regret I do have is that I unregistered Neil Danns during the January transfer window as I had to make space for Papa Boupa Diop. The reason I regret it is that every cup game has played in, he has been one of the key players. He will be leaving at the end of the season as he is only with us on loan, so I felt it was deserving to give him a starting place to show how grateful we were for his performances in our cup run.
What an incredible feeling this is. I thought I was going to be coming into Huddersfield Town and be looking to avoid relegation at all costs. Prior to this game we won the Championship league title which was, by itself, a great achievement. For us to win the double, with us now clinching the FA Cup, it is an achievement that will go down in Huddersfield Town folklore. Despite the bookies not being able to separate the two teams before the game, we clearly showed we wanted it much much more. We were sensational from start to finish.
As I predicted we managed to hold off the little threat from the QPR forwards and instead we were able to put attacks together of our own. Danny Ward showed that he wanted to repay the faith I had shown in him and put in a brilliant performance. The defence and goalkeeper were outstanding as always. Lee Novak has shown that he is capable of scoring against some of the top teams this season and it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the Premiership. It would have been great for him to have got his hat trick but I felt it necessary to let Alan Lee have his appearance for the club as I plan on releasing him as soon as possible.
Another proud moment in my Football Manager career that has seen me get Huddersfield Town into European football. It will be a surreal experience for the club next season and we will be honoured to just be a part of the competition. It would be great to see us do well in the tournament but we will go into it with our feet firmly on the ground and just take each match as it comes. Up The Town!