Pogatetz - Cup can save Boro
Emanuel Pogatetz is hoping that Middlesbrough can boost their league hopes with FA Cup victory.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 06/03/09 4:33pm
Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz is hoping that the club can finally go on to win the FA Cup this year and provide a boost to their domestic campaign.
Boro have fallen at the last eight stage for the past four seasons and will be hoping to buck the trend when they come up against high-fliers Everton on Sunday.
However, still fresh in the memory is last year's disappointing defeat by eventual finalists Cardiff, and Pogatetz admits that going down to a Championship club so close to the Wembley showpiece was hard to take.
"The Cardiff defeat still hurts. We all know we missed a great opportunity last season to maybe go on and win the cup," he admitted.
"Now we have reached the same stage again. Of course, Everton on paper will be a lot harder to beat than Cardiff would have been.
"But Cardiff showed they could beat maybe a better team, and maybe we can beat Everton as well."
Despite their fine cup form, Boro have been on a rollercoaster of emotions in the last week, having surprisingly beaten Liverpool only to be trounced 4-0 by Tottenham just days later.
Yet with the team struggling for morale as the season enters its climax, Pogatetz feels that a run to the final could be just what Middlesbrough need.
"We can benefit from the cup competition; we can get confidence out of this cup competition, and it's great for the supporters and the club that we are actually playing for a trophy," said the Austrian international.
"It's good for us and for the club that we are still in the competition, and it is something we can be proud of."
Pogatetz may be positive about Boro producing a strong end to the campaign, but recent history does not bode well for the North East club.
The last time Middlesbrough made the FA Cup final in 1997, they were relegated - a scenario that Pogatetz recognises could easily repeat itself this time around.
"Of course, the threat of relegation is there - and has been for quite a long time," added Pogatetz.
"But also, we have to think about how we can get out of there - and not if the club has been in a lower division before or not.
"We know that nearly every club has been relegated once, and hope we can avoid it this season."