Second chance

Friday 11 January 2002

Fulham defender and Welsh international Andy Melville shared opinions over his side's FA Cup reprieve after their 2-2 draw with England Second Division club Wycombe.

"I guess we can count ourselves pretty fortunate to still be in the FA Cup after Steve Marlet's last-gasp equaliser earned us a replay against Wycombe.

"I know that the reports of the game claimed that we did not play well, but that was not the way I saw it. I think we played very well for the first hour and passed the ball around really well.

"After they got the penalty you could really see the lift it gave their players and ultimately we were pretty pleased to still be in the competition."

As both Derby and Leeds would confirm, it is extremely difficult playing lower division sides, but hopefully we'll be able to finish them off at the Cottage.

"On the subject of Cardiff, I must take my hat off to them... which isn't easy for a Swansea man to say. Beating Leeds United was a fantastic achievement and hopefully will give Welsh football a real boost. Sam Hamman has shown that if you plough the money into the clubs in Wales and get success, the fans will turn up.

"I hope the powers that be at Swansea and Wrexham will see that and follow the lead. It was, of course, a shame that a minority of the supporters tried to ruin the occasion, and hopefully those kind of scenes will not be repeated.

"We're back in league action on Saturday with a home game against Middlesbrough. I think it's fair to say that Boro have similar ambitions to ourselves this season, so it would be great to get a win over them.

"You look at Boro and they do have some very experienced and talented individuals in their ranks. From a personal point of view, I think Boksic will be the one to fear. I've never played against him, but I was talking to Alain Goma in training and he said he thinks he's one of the best centre forwards he's ever played against.

"Hopefully, though, if we can keep it tight at the back we have enough fire power in our team to get a result," said the 33-year-old Welshman, who joined Fulham in June 1999.