Captain Brede Hangeland praised the never-say-die attitude of his Fulham teammates as the Whites turned their FA Cup with Budweiser tie against Blackpool around on Tuesday evening.
The Whites were seconds away from exiting the competition but substitute Kieran Richardson brought us level with the final kick of normal time, before Hangeland’s heroics on 116 minutes sent Fulham through.
“I’m not sure if it was my goal to be honest,” Brede said when fulhamfc.com asked him about the winner. “I just threw myself in there. It doesn’t really matter who scored the goal as long as we won and we managed to do that so it was a good feeling after a long day in the office!
“That game had everything. I feel a bit sorry for Blackpool if I’m honest – they were so close but obviously we’re delighted to go through.
“I think that fighting spirit is one of the qualities we’ve always had at Fulham. We always keep going even when things are not going so well. We got our reward for that commitment and hard work and the lads are really pleased.
“There are certain things we could have done better against Blackpool but in the Cup it’s all about getting the right result and we managed to do that so we’ll go home, get some sleep, all pleased that we won this game.”
The away side at Bloomfield Road were roared on for 120 minutes by a vociferous travelling support. The better part of 400 Whites fans braved temperatures of -2 degrees in Lancashire and their magnificent efforts were duly rewarded with an excellent win.
“The fans were incredible,” Brede enthused. “I couldn’t believe how many of them made the trip up here on a Tuesday night. I’m really happy that we gave them something to cheer about and we all want to give a big thanks to them for coming up and supporting us.”
With Fulham safely through to the next stage of the historic cup, we still don’t know who we’ll be facing on Saturday 26th January. Manchester United meet West Ham United at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening to fight for the opportunity to host the Whites in the Fourth Round, but Brede insists that a tough challenge awaits his side, whoever the opposition is.
“It’s going be a difficult game away from home, regardless of who we end up facing,” he said. “But, as we’ve seen today, anything can happen in the cup so we’ll give it a very good go against whoever we have to play.”