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Swansea boss hoping for some luck

last updated Tuesday 24th February 2009, 10:17 AM

Swansea manager Roberto Martinez
Swansea manager
Roberto Martinez

ROBERTO Martinez hopes the giant-killer's shoe will be on the other foot tonight when Swansea City bid to set up a David-and-Goliath clash with Manchester United.

Swansea blew the chance of a glamour FA Cup trip to Liverpool last season when they were humbled in a replay at Havant & Waterlooville.

And Martinez hopes the underdogs will triumph again as Swansea's followers keep fingers crossed that the plum tie will happen this time around.

"We are a stronger side than we were when we lost to Havant," reckoned Martinez.

"We are stronger mentally, technically and tactically, but the one thing we can take from that game going into this one is that anything can happen in the FA Cup.

"Us losing to Havant won't be the last upset in the cup, and it's nice for us that we can wear the underdog tag this time.

"It gives you that little bit of extra feeling and hopefully it can help us against Fulham.

"They are in a good moment of form and their home record is fantastic, but we go there with hope and that's a great compliment to us.

"But realistically, every time we take on a Premier League club we need a good performance, a bit of luck and a bit of magic of the cup to get through."

Swansea's record against top-flight opposition this season is impressive — they have beaten Hull and Portsmouth and were much the better side in their 1-1 draw with Fulham 10 days ago.

But the Cottagers' home form this season is exceptional.

A record of eight wins, three draws and one defeat is bettered by just one Premier League side — United — with West Ham the only visiting victors at Craven Cottage this term.

"They will look to dictate things and they have four strikers who can score out of nothing," added Martinez.

"We have to go there and try to compete and, if we can do that, I will be happy.

"The fans will dream about United, but all I want is a performance which shows we are growing and will help us in our league campaign."

Swansea's bid to reach the last eight of the cup for the first time in 45 years has not been helped by a double injury blow.

Skipper Garry Monk is still suffering with the back problem which forced him out of last Saturday's 3-1 Championship triumph over Doncaster, while Joe Allen will not travel after picking up a thigh strain in that game.

Monk, who is pencilled in for a return to training tomorrow, is hoping to make the weekend clash with Charlton, but Allen seems certain to miss that game as well.

While Albert Serran will continue in central defence, Martinez must choose between Guillem Bauza and Owain Tudur Jones as he looks to fill the gap left in midfield.

With Darren Pratley and Ferrie Bodde already absent, the Spaniard has indicated he may consider a move in the loan market.

But he stressed: "We have still got options in the squad and we must look for solutions in the squad first.

"Joe was enjoying his football and he has had a massive impact. It's unfortunate that we are going to miss him and Garry, two big players, but we have to deal with it as a squad."

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