Cup of Dreams
Graeme Bailey caught up with Sheffield Wednesday star Chris Maguire ahead of their FA Cup fifth round clash
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey
Last Updated: 14/02/14 9:58am
Wednesday's run to the fifth round of the FA Cup has coincided with an up-turn in their fortunes with Stuart Gray earning the managerial job on a full time basis.
One of the stars of the Owls' good form has been Scottish striker Maguire, and he for one admits that cup fever has started to catch on at the club as a win over Charlton on Saturday will see them move into the last eight of the cup - something they have not done in nearly a quarter of a century.
"It is a big game, it is the first time I have been involved at this stage as the previous times I have been in the cup I have gone out early and it is now a great opportunity and one I am looking forward too."
As can happen in the cup, the draw has been somewhat kind to Wednesday again in the fifth round, having seen off Macclesfield and then Rochdale in the previous rounds.
"We have had a good few draws in the previous round against lower ranked opposition but they have not been easy games, but we have come through them and looking at this tie against Charlton," Maguire explained.
"We have played them before and know what they are about, and the bonus for us is that we are higher in the league and have been on this good run and there is a great feeling around the club and hopefully that can continue."
Wednesday lost to Wigan in midweek which is their only defeat in their last 12 games, and Maguire believes the cup run has played its part.
"The run we were on was great and the games could not come quick enough and that was also cup games and now we put this defeat behind us, and hopefully we won't have it again too many times and certainly not on Saturday."
With a place in the quarter-finals at stake, and then a Wembley place just one further win away, Maguire admits that would be a dream for them that is within touching distance.
"There is no harm in dreaming," admitted the Wednesday ace.
"You always think about playing at the highest level and this is a great chance to go far and with the semi-finals being at Wembley too, but if we could win this match and then a nice tie at home, that would help and I am sure the fans would really be up for that and backing us to try and get there.
"You want to get a good cup run and the FA Cup has that tradition and we are delighted to still be in it."
With six goals in 12 starts to his name this term, Maguire admits things could not be going much better for him but he is looking to build on his excellent season so far.
"You always want to play every game and I am no different, I am enjoying my football at the moment and this game will only help."
Maguire heaped praise on new manager Gray, who has shown real belief in the striker.
"Ever since the gaffer got the job, he has given me the chance - I worked with him at Portsmouth and was great with me there and ever since he came in here he has been great so I am pleased for him had hopefully that will mean only good things for me."
With his good form Maguire is now being tipped for a recall to the Scotland squad.
"It is always something you want to do, represent your country and I have played in every age group and it was great to play and get those caps, I was not thinking about to before because I wasn't playing but now I am playing and scoring, hopefully I will be on contention.
"The main thing for me at the moment is to keep performing for Sheffield Wednesday and if I can get in the squad it will be a great achievement and a bonus to myself."
Wednesday's good run of form has seen them climb away from the bottom of the table and Maguire hopes they can soon banish any sort of relegation talk.
"As we have said before, we are only looking forward and that means up the table rather than down and I don't think any of the boys have been listening to the previous relegation talk.
"Maybe at the start of the season we were scared about going to certain places and it did not work out, but at this moment in time we are not frightened of anyone."