Jacobson’s cup is half full

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DAR­REN WITCOOP

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.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Joe Jacobson fires home from the spot against Villa

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