Waterford FC manager, Marc Bircham, knows how much the FAI Cup means to Blues fans. Photo: Inpho.
FAI Senior Challenge Cup Quarter-final Preview – Waterford FC manager Marc Bircham
Waterford FC manager Marc Bircham is confident that if his side can bring their top game to the table against UCD in their FAI Cup Quarter-final this evening (Friday) that the Blues can book their place in the last four of the competition, but he is also wary of the challenge that lies ahead.
Bircham is undoubtingly looking forward to the meeting with the Students as the club go in search of securing their spot in the semi-final, and the Londoner also knows how much it would mean to the people of Waterford to land cup glory.
Speaking ahead of this evening’s visit to the UCD, the Blues boss said, “I think that everyone loves the cup. The fans love the cup, and I’ve learned that the people of Waterford love the cup. We’ll treat it the same as every other game, and we’ll pick the strongest team possible. We’ll give UCD the respect that they deserve.
“We’ll treat it like a league game with the same preparation, but you’ve got the added incentive, and you don’t need any bigger incentive as a player knowing that you are just one win away from a semi-final, a couple from a final, and three wins away from winning a major trophy.
“We’ve got to break it down, and we’re got to win this game. It’s cup football, and we have to try get the result that we need to get into the semi-final. It would be amazing, but we’re not thinking about that now. We’ve got to concentrate on UCD. I’m sure they’ll be right up for it, because it’s a big game for them.
“We’ve got to make sure that we stick to our game plan. We know what we’ve got to do to win that game, and we’re got to try execute that the best we can. There was a lot of frustration from the game against Shamrock Rovers, and I’ve not changed my mind. We were dealt an injustice in the refereeing decisions in that game.
“I’m trying to not make excuses, but it’s about six games on the trot. It was hard because we felt dejected, but we have to forget about that now and focus on this game. I think that refereeing in Ireland needs to be made professional because it’s not up to the standard where we want it.
“I know that we all hate VAR, but if the standard isn’t up to what everyone expects than they need some help, so maybe if there was a screen with a couple of replays. I don’t like to moan about it, but I have to do interviews after the game, maybe I shouldn’t, but I try to be as calm and as honest as possible. I’m not feeling bitter because I’ve said it when we’ve won games too.”
‘GOING TO BE A GOOD GAME’
“I’d like to think that Friday’s game is going to be a good game. It’s a nice pitch, probably one of the biggest pitches in the league, which will suit both teams, and suit for a good game of football. We know that the UCD attacking three up front are dangerous, and I’ve watched the last four or five games that they’ve played.
“But again if we play our game, and you learned it last week when I chucked a different game plan in in order to get something out of the game, but I think that if we play to the best of our abilities, I think that we’ve got a great chance of getting through to the semi-finals. It would be great.”