FA Cup plans on ice for now - Spearing
JAY Spearing believes Wanderers must forget all about their FA Cup heroics in order to breathe fresh life into their league campaign.
Dougie Freedman takes the buoyant Whites to his former club Crystal Palace on Saturday hoping that their midweek result at Sunderland can lend some momentum to the bread and butter of the Championship.
One of the standout performers at the Stadium of Light, Spearing has called for focus despite an appetising fourth- round clash against Everton looming on the horizon next weekend.
“We need to do it again,” the midfielder said. “We’re not even looking too far ahead about what might come in the next round.
“We need to concentrate on what is coming Saturday. Palace becomes a massive game for us because we need to start picking up wins as quickly as possible.
“I’m looking forward to facing Everton and I’ve had loads of messages from friends and family already about it – but the main thing is replicating that Sunderland performance against Palace now on Saturday.”
The impending clash against the Toffees takes on an extra significance for Spearing – a dyed-in-the-wool Red, on loan from Liverpool.
And the 24-year-old insists an extended run in the FA Cup is a possibility.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t go on in the cup,” he said. “We have gone to a Premier League side away from home, dominated in the second half and played some really nice football.
“We knew we were the underdogs because Sunderland had got a good result at the weekend against West Ham and we knew they were going to be coming straight out firing at us.
“We needed to concentrate on our own game and thankfully it worked for us.
“Any game for a Liverpudlian against Everton is going to be a special one now. It’s something I’ll look forward to but it’s not one I can concentrate on right away because I want to look at the weekend.”
Spearing also gave a pat on the back to team-mate Marvin Sordell, whose two second-half strikes against Sunderland booked a place in the fourth round for Wanderers.
“He’s put everything behind him and focused on his football, which he does day-in, day-out, and proved again what he is all about. He is a goalscorer and that’s something we need,” he said.
Spearing earned plenty of plaudits himself after his combative display on Wearside, and his manager believes he is only now starting to show his true worth, just over four months after his arrival from Merseyside.
“Jay is another young guy who just needs to keep playing football,” he said.
“I know we’ve got him on loan but he needs to be enjoying it.
“He told me that he had a tough few months at first, but now he’s done a while in the first team and I think we’re starting to see the dividends.
“There is a long way to go and he is still learning his trade but there’s a very big future for him.”
Freedman admitted, however, that it was not currently in his plans to make Spearing’s move from Liverpool a permanent one.
“All I am trying to do is get Jay Spearing as fit as he possibly can be, to hand back to Brendan Rogers to put him in his first team. It’s as simple as that,” he added