The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

I HAD a most spooky ex­pe­ri­ence this week. I told both my chair­man and

cap­tain in sep­a­rate con­ver­sa­tions that

af­ter we beat Ip­swich in the League Cup,

we would draw Ever­ton at Good­i­son Park.

I was con­vinced it would hap­pen but was gobsmacked when it did.For small clubs like our­selves, cup runs cre­ate

a lifeblood.

They are cen­tral to our ex­is­tence.We can­not be­gin to con­tem­plate nar­row­ing our fo­cus down to just the League cam- paign.We sim­ply have to de­liver the goods in the cup com­pe­ti­tions. That pres­sure could hin­der, but I find that

it helps.To know that we have to win cup games to sus­tain a bud­get with which we can op­er­ate in our League cam­paign leaves us with a clear fo­cus.

I un­der­stand why big­ger clubs pre­fer to avoid fix­ture con­ges­tion.We sim­ply do not have a choice other than to treat each tie as a mat­ter of life and death.

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