Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

Fabio Da Silva dreaming of a trip to Wembley

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says all his squad will have a role to play
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says all his squad will have a role to play

Fabio Da Silva is convinced rumours of the FA Cup's demise have been greatly exaggerated as he dreams of a first ever trip to the final.

The full-back, a losing semi-finalist with Manchester United in 2009, played his part as Middlesbrough edged past League One Oxford into the quarter-finals with an eventful 3-2 victory at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Boro avoided a shock - although they needed a late winner from Cristhian Stuani to spare their blushes following a spirited fightback which had seen the visitors cancel out a 2-0 lead - hours after National League Lincoln had stunned Premier League Burnley to reach the last eight.

With Millwall also dumping reigning English champions Leicester out of the competition, the path to Wembley has opened up invitingly, but Fabio is taking nothing for granted.

He said: "It is a big opportunity with the way the cup is going, but it also shows that you can never take anything for granted.

"If the big teams are going out to the smaller teams, it is because the smaller teams have quality and they are playing well enough to beat them. We know that is always possible and we have had to make sure it hasn't happened to us in the games we have played.

"We saw what had happened earlier in the day, and that is what makes the competition so great. As players, you know that anyone can beat anyone and you always have to have that in your mind."

Boro, of course, are battling on two fronts with their Premier League status far from secure ahead of a potentially key trip to struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday, although Fabio believes an extended cup run could pay wider dividends.

He said: "When I was at Manchester United, we always took a lot from our cup runs. We always felt that doing well in the cups would help us with what we were trying to do in the league.

"You always get confidence from winning, no matter what competition you are playing in. We won 3-2 here, in a really good game, and everyone should be excited about that and take confidence from it. It should help to drive everybody on.

"It can only give us more confidence for the Crystal Palace game."

Press Association

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