Vladimír Coufal: I expect us to show our quality against Doncaster
After the experience of facing a resolute Stockport County, a saturated Edgeley Park pitch and the distraction of a fireworks display, Vladimír Coufal is looking forward to his second taste of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
Coufal’s introduction to the world’s most-famous knockout competition was certainly unique, and West Ham United’s Czech right-back is hoping for a less dramatic afternoon when he faces Doncaster Rovers at London Stadium.
The Irons go into the game on a run of four straight victories, and confidence is high that David Moyes’ side can extend that to five and set up a fifth-round tie at either Liverpool or Manchester United.
But, at the same time, the No5 knows from his testing encounter at National League Stockport that nothing will come easy for the Hammers against a Doncaster side riding high in EFL League One and on a run of six wins in their last seven matches in all competitions.
“Now I know that every game in England is very tough and it doesn’t matter which team you are playing against,” he confirmed. “I saw it in Stockport, which was a very tough game, and they were from the fifth league.
“I’m expecting another tough game, but I expect us to show our quality and certainly we want to get through to the next round.”
West Ham’s recent form, and the performances of Coufal since his arrival from Slavia Prague in September, have earned positive reviews from the Club’s supporters.
But, due to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, only the 2,000 fans who attended the Premier League fixture with Manchester United before Christmas have seen their new hero in the flesh.
While the 28-year-old knows the current situation means the return of fans and full stadiums are still some way off, he is looking forward to playing in front of the Claret and Blue Army when things change for the better.
“I’m very excited for that moment and I hope COVID will be over as soon as possible,” he said. “It’s strange because I came to England and I still didn’t get to play in front of the fans, so it’s a little bit crazy for me and I’m a bit disappointed about it.
“I enjoy every match in the Premier League and I hope I can help the team because you never know which one will be your last.”
Saturday’s tie will be broadcast live on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website, with kick-off at 3pm.