Jacobson’s cup is half full
FOOTBALL JOE Jacobson is gearing up for one of the biggest matches of his life — an FA Cup trip to Villa Park.
Jacobson capped a fine display with the equaliser to earn Wycombe Wanderers a third-round replay against Aston Villa next Tuesday.
The incentive of hosting big-spending Manchester City potentially lies ahead for Jacobson and the League Two side.
But Premier League strugglers Villa will be strong favourites to progress and Cardiff-born Jacobson is not looking beyond the rematch.
He said: “It will be a huge occasion for the players and the club.
“Financially a game like this helps us no end. You always want to play a big team and we got Aston Villa perhaps at the right time.
“They will be overwhelming favourites but it’s something we can enjoy. We can’t look beyond this tie as this is tough enough.”
Jacobson kept his nerve to smash home a penalty past Mark Bunn in the 1-1 draw at Adams Park.
He was later branded by his manager Gareth Ainsworth as the best set-piece taker outside English football’s top two divisions.
“It’s a nice compliment and I work hard on my delivery,” said Jacobson.
“With the penalty I felt confident of scoring and I will obviously step up again if an opportunity arises.
“Paul Hayes, our striker, is the normal penalty taker but he wasn’t playing. I never doubted myself that I wasn’t going to score.
“Thankfully the Villa goalkeeper moved early enough to go the other way and I was able to tuck it away.”
Jacobson says practice makes perfect after breaking his duck with his maiden FA Cup goal in front of millions on live television.
He said: “I always practise in training. I pride myself on my free-kicks and like to chip in with the odd goal to go with an assist.
“My primary job is to stop goals but you need to be a rounded player.
“And if you can help at the other end then it always benefits the team.”
Jacobson has played at Wembley and is no stranger to Villa Park. He represented Wales under-21s in their European Championship play-off in 2008.
He said: “When you get to the third round you are just hoping to get a massive tie to help the club.
“Fortunately we got one and managed to force a replay which is huge.
“As a player you want to play at the best and biggest stadiums.
“I’ve managed to play at Wembley last season but Villa Park is one of the best in the country.
“We won’t go there to just make up the numbers. We really feel we can get a result. I would love to play my part in making some history.”
Nick Blackman is looking forward to a fourth round meeting with Manchester United. He played for 76 minutes on debut for Derby County in the 2-1 victory over Hartlepool United.
Joe Jacobson fires home from the spot against Villa