FOR much of the 50 years that have been watching the Wanderers the FA cup third round day was always one of the highlights of the season, a day you looked forward to with renewed optimism and maybe a chance of glory, writes Mitch Cregan.

These days it has become a chore. A process started by Sam Allardyce of fielding weakened sides in all cup matches, and taken to it's extremes in Portugal by Gary Megson has completely eroded that feeling.

As a football supporter we long for our team to do well, to share in the reflected glory of success, enjoy a magical ride in the cup, but what do we get these days?

With all due respect to the lads who played their hearts out today we get a shadow team and the club virtually saying we don't want to win the game and would rather be out of the cup.

What about the fans? It is the straw that breaks the camel's back for many of us, why should we pay out our hard earned money to watch a team of fringe players?

That's what the reserve team is supposed to be for.

Treat the cups and the fans with more respect and the fans will respond - think back to the White Hot Nights what memories!

Younger fans may never get to experience that excitement.

To the lads who played today, thanks for playing your part in an entertaining game and restoring some pride in the shirt.