Anton Ferdinand and Mark Noble have spoken of their FA Cup ambitions as the in-form duo look to help West Ham United get past Manchester City this evening.
The 22-year-old Ferdinand has plenty of memories of the 2006 showpiece in Cardiff when he played a crucial role in getting the club to the final. Unfortunately he was one of three Hammers players to miss in the shoot-out that saw Liverpool win 3-1 on penalties after a 3-3 draw and he is eager for another crack. "The FA Cup means a lot," he said. "It is a historic competition. I have played in one final and I want to play in another."
Ferdinand is a player in form, as shown by his appearance in the Actim Index team of the week. His points haul following the 2-1 win against Fulham was the highest secured by any top-flight defender this week in the index, which is the official Premier League player rating system. As with his winning goal on Saturday, the Academy product has shown plenty of forward firepower of late to match his defensive prowess.
Tonight though, he is hoping it is the club's forwards who will be able to take the glory in the third-round replay at the City of Manchester Stadium. In a competitive match, both sides drew a blank in the first meeting ten days ago at the Boleyn Ground. "It is going to be a hard game, especially at City where they are very good," he said. "We have got to try and do what we did to them at home but hopefully finish our chances."
Noble, 20, was not involved in that final two years ago but is well aware of what it would mean to all concerned should West Ham United win through to another televised tie, a fourth-round fixture away to Sheffield United on Sunday 27 January. "It is always nice for the fans and the club to have an FA Cup run," he said. "If we beat Man City on Wednesday then we have a nice one to look forward to with Sheffield United away. They will want to beat us but obviously we have got to win first and we are just concentrating on that."