In the first game, Cardiff were exactly what it said on the tin – ‘a Championship side who gave it everything in their ‘Cup Final’ backed by a vociferous and expectant crowd.’
That Spurs came through unscathed was ‘a job well done’ and if they had achieved that result in a European away match everyone would have been well-satisfied. However, as it was only Cardiff some became rather critical of the result and the performances of some of the players.
Martin Jol’s first priority was to ensure the players were prepared to compete and ensure they didn’t become victim of a Cup upset, similar to last season’s two fiascos. Having achieved that Spurs must now ensure the job is completed successfully at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening – show their greater skill and class and make it count to overcome a Cardiff side which hasn’t scored in their last four matches, including Saturday’s home defeat to Southend. After a bright start to the season, Cardiff are now eighth in the Championship but have not won any of their last twelve games. The last victory was in mid-November at home to Burnley when a Scimeca goal brought them success. Of those twelve games 8 have been draws, 6 of them scoreless, so Cardiff are difficult to beat and don’t concede too many goals, although they did concede four at Hull a month ago.
The Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, has his team well organised defensively but if Spurs play the style of quick, passing football that they displayed against Newcastle, surely they can’t be as unfortunate in front of goal as they were then or be up against as inspired a goalkeeper as Shay Given. In the first game, Neil Alexander in the Cardiff goal looked competent and played his part in ensuring that Spurs didn’t score but it is to be hoped that he will be kept busier on Wednesday evening. In defence they have Darren Purse who has played for both Birmingham and W.B.A. Their leading goal scorer is Michael Chopra who has scored 12 in the League, while Scimeca and Thompson have five each.
The only previous FA Cup contest at White Hart Lane between the two clubs was back in 1921-22 in the quarter finals with Spurs winning 2-1. That was the same result as the last time the two clubs met at Tottenham in Spurs’ promotion season of 1977-78 when John Duncan scored both goals.
Keller, Taricco (Doherty), Richards, Bunjevcevic, Thatcher, Davies, Freund (Iversen), Acimovic, Etherington, Keane (Ferdinand), Sheringham
Spurs’ home record against Cardiff (League and Cup):