Millwall manager living his Wembley dream in the FA Cup

© Wayne Harvey
© Wayne Harvey

KENNY Jackett says he will fulfil a childhood dream when he manages Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final against Wigan at Wembley on Saturday.

Jackett, who was a beaten finalist in 1984 during his playing days with Watford, admits it is hard not to be romantic about the famous competition and is delighted to have taken the Lions this far.

"I still have my medal – it's a runners-up medal but it's a fantastic thing to keep," Jackett said. "Going to Wembley is everyone's dream. Your family and your children remember those occasions.

"As a kid, that's where you want to play and where you want to manage. It's always a proud day for your whole family but after that you want to do yourself justice.

"I certainly do have aspirations of winning it – daydreams is probably a good word for it. A good cup run and getting to finals are big things to remember in your career."

Until recently, Wembley was reserved for the final and last-four ties were staged at neutral venues – but Jackett is very much in favour of the new arrangements.

"Well, this year I am," he said. "I think it is great that the game is at Wembley – every player, manager and coach wants to play there. Making use of such a fantastic stadium is probably the reason why.

"I can remember some big games – Watford vs. Plymouth in 1984 was at Villa Park – and others that were at Old Trafford. But for me, it would be great if the semis were always at Wembley."

And Jackett expects he will enjoy managing on such occasions, rather than playing in them. He said: "You feel more responsibility as a manager. It's very different.

"As a player, you are very much focused on your own performance and playing well. I would think that it is better as a manager."

Jackett is keen to ensure, however, that Millwall do not let the FA Cup become the be all and end all of their season, with vital league matters still to attend to before the summer break.

"You have to look at the season as a whole," he said. "If we got relegated but had a great cup run, I don't think one balances out the other. We're punching about our weight so we need to stay up.

"That would make the cup run look even better – that would make our season a successful one. But our season is still ahead of us – it's still to be played out over the weeks ahead.

"We've still got some work to do this year to stay up. We've got more games left than anybody else and we have those games in hand because of the cup run.

"We're one of the small clubs in the Championship, operating on an average attendance of around 10,000. Our priority is that we have to stay in the division. We've worked hard to get here."



3 thoughts on “Millwall manager living his Wembley dream in the FA Cup

  • April 13, 2013 at 05:50

    Good luck KJ, the cup will look after itself
    The real hard works starts at home on Tuesday. But we'll worry about that tomorrow.
    Today is all about the semis of the best cup in the world. Come on wall lets av it.

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  • April 13, 2013 at 09:27

    Come on kj rally the boys and get them fired up we are gonna have to be like flies on s*** out there to stand any chance of winning. Miiilllll

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