Jon Dahl Tomasson urges Blackburn players to write new FA Cup history

Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson urged his players to seize the “opportunity to write a new chapter” for the club when they face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday at Bramall Lane.

Beating their fellow Championship promotion contenders would see Rovers, last in the quarter-final eight years ago, reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2006-07 and make a maiden trip to the new Wembley Stadium.

Tomasson, whose team advanced from the fifth round with a 2-1 win at Leicester, said: “It’s been an incredible cup campaign so far – being a giant killer, beating West Ham (on penalties after a draw 2-2 in the third round of the Carabao Cup) and in the FA Cup, which is the biggest cup in the world in my head, beating Leicester, two Premier League teams.

“All credit to the lads and to Rovers, we haven’t been that far for a while. So it’s been an excellent race and we’re enjoying it.

“Of course, we all know that you can lose the next game. We beat Sheffield United at home (1-0 in the league on March 4).

“But of course it’s one of those sides that need to come up; If you look at the budget, the experience, how big the squad is and of course, the money for the parachutes, which is important in football, right? We don’t have that here at the moment at Rovers.

“But on the other hand it is also an opportunity for each player to write a new chapter in this great story and be part of a new history for the club. So it’s something we have to pursue.

“There will only be one club that wins the FA Cup in the end. We’re not there, but we can dream of Wembley for sure, because just saying the word Wembley says enough about the passion and this great competition.”

Blackburn’s history shows six FA Cup wins, most recently in 1928, they lifted the League Cup in 2002 and were crowned Premier League champions in 1995.

Out of the top flight for 11 years, they are currently fifth in the second tier, three places behind Sheffield United, and recorded their sixth win in seven games in all competitions with Wednesday’s 2-1 league win over Reading.

Tomasson said: “We all know it’s been hard to be a Rovers fan in the last decade, but I think the fans should always dream of better times and we’re trying to create better times for the fans.”

The former Denmark striker succeeded Tony Mowbray as Rovers boss last summer, returning to English football having previously been with Newcastle during his playing career in the 1997-98 season.

That campaign included playing in the Magpies’ run to the FA Cup final at the old Wembley, although he was not in the matchday squad for that game, the 2-0 loss to Arsenal.

On the new Wembley, Tomasson said: “I haven’t been able to play there or see it that way, so I’m really looking forward to going there. We should dream about it and I’m sure the guys are ready for it.

“The FA Cup goes back centuries. Of course I was in a final with Newcastle without playing, but still the memories and that passion and those traditions are very special and you only have them in England.

“Actually, it is also one of the reasons why I decided to work in England. I could have decided to work in different European clubs, but I chose to work in the second biggest league in England because of the passion and the way I think. about football and in general the style of play in England is great.


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