McInnes message

Saturday 9 March 2002

Derek McInnes has said he will be urging his Albion team-mates to "make things uncomfortable" for Fulham on Sunday.

The club skipper is relishing the FA Cup quarter-final clash with The Cottagers and has no doubts about Albion's chances of being in the semi-final draw come the end of the weekend.

McInnes told TEAMtalk: "As a player you want to go as far as you can in the FA Cup.

"Our priority this year, or any other year, is to get into the Premiership and until we're there, that'll always be the case.

"But the FA Cup has helped us. We went to Sunderland and won earlier in the year and we beat Leicester after that. It gave us confidence and belief in ourselves and that's carried on into the league, and it's kept us bubbling along nicely.

"Getting a result against Fulham certainly isn't beyond us. We have to take advantage of being at home and use our support. We have to take the game to them.

"They have plenty of talent and you have to say Fulham are favourites to go through, but I don't think they'll find a comfortable tie and we've got to make things uncomfortable for them.

Meanwhile Gary Megson admits he is "still hesitant" about fielding calf injury victim Darren Moore in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at home to Fulham.

The Albion boss is still hopeful that his key defender will be fit for the tie after missing their last five games with a niggling calf strain.

Moore has revealed he feels fine for about half an hour but the calf muscle begins to cause him pain after that. Megson says the 27-year-old is not far off a first-team return but admits the clash with The Cottagers may come too soon for him.

If the centre-back has to bow out again, then Tony Butler will plug the gap once more as Albion bid to grab a place in the semi-finals.

Fulham knocked neighbouring Walsall out of the cup in the last round but Megson is paying no heed to that result against The Saddlers.

"This is a quarter-final tie and we will be playing in front of 28,000 fans," said Megson. "It will be a different game altogether."

As the only Nationwide League club left in the competition, Albion are cast firmly in the role of underdogs but have a 100 per cent record against Fulham in FA Cup history.

The last meeting was at Craven Cottage in the fourth round in January 1969, when The Baggies were defending the cup awarded to them by Jeff Astle's Wembley winner against Everton the previous year. The visitors came away 2-1 winners that day, and progressed on to the semi-finals before eventually losing to Leicester.