Keane: The magic of the Cup

ROY Keane is in no doubt - the MAGIC of the FA Cup is back.Keane is looking to guide Ipswich Town through to the fifth round of the Cup, at the expense of hosts Southampton tomorrow.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

ROY Keane is in no doubt - the MAGIC of the FA Cup is back.

Keane is looking to guide Ipswich Town through to the fifth round of the Cup, at the expense of hosts Southampton tomorrow.

At least 3,000 Town fans are expected to travel to the south coast, so the magic is not lost on them. And nor is it lost on Keane.

"The FA Cup did lose a bit of its magic, definitely, a few years ago,"

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insisted Keane.

"The competition had been damaged a little. It probably started when Manchester United pulled out of the FA Cup to play in Brazil (World Club Championship in 2000), and them maybe some of the bigger teams used the squad rotation too much.

"They got criticism at the time, and rightly so. But you don't see that now.

"The crowds might be down, but that's due to a number of factors, including people struggling financially and the bad weather. The magic is back," added Keane.

Town to win the FA Cup is still a very long shot, but Keane gains inspiration from some of the Championship clubs who have reached the final in recent years.

"Millwall, Cardiff and Portsmouth all got to Cup finals, so you've got to dream!" continued Keane.

"The bigger teams have their priorities, just as if you asked clubs in the Championship, they'd say they would prefer promotion to reaching the cup final.

"But I used to dream of winning the FA Cup as a kid. Dreams do come true, believe me!"

"The magic of the new Wembley is also a factor.

"Wembley was always the place you wanted to go, as a youngster. It was the pinnacle of where you wanted to be," concluded Keane.

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