FM18 | Letou Choose | Swansea City’s Road To The FA Cup Final
This weekend I will be honoured and privileged to lead out Swansea City again at Wembley to take on Mark Hughes and Stoke City. But how did we get here?
Today and tomorrow I’ll look at the roads to the Cup Final by both teams. Let’s start with Swansea’s journey. As always just click the images to see them in full size.
My own personal journey with Swansea began back in January and my first game in charge after taking over from Stuart Reid was against Bristol City in the FA Cup third round. It was a narrow 1-0 victory with a goal from Nathan Dyer, who I had brought back into the fold after being bombed out by Reid. It was a team containing appearances from youngsters Cian Harries and Courtney Baker-Richardson.
The most significant win of the run came against my hometown club, Preston North End, having been born in Sharoe Green Hospital in the Lancashire city. It was a narrow 4-3 win but two late goals from Preston really had my nerves jangling. It was to our credit that we had goals on the board before our late capitulation and led me to stop trusting Ki Sung-Yeung and Leroy Fer, both of whom had come on as a substitute at that time and failed to keep everything secure.
Portsmouth was a game that I really didn’t like, mostly because Pompey boss Stuart Pearce sent his League One side out to kick our boys to pieces and they succeeded with injuries hitting Luciano Narsingh, Wayne Routledge and Kyle Naughton. We eventually ran out comfortable winners thanks to a hat-trick from Tammy Abraham but I held that hatred for Pearce for some time.
Swansea also recorded a 3-0 victory over Reading, who had dispensed with the services of Jaap Stam and given it to Giggsy until the end of the season. He recovered to tenth at the end of the Championship season but his team were fairly powerless to resist the rampant Swans with a hat-trick this time from Jordan Ayew.
That win put us in the semi-final and achieved my ambition of leading Swansea out at Wembley as we took on Tata Martino’s Everton. It was a tight and tense affair with Renato Sanches and Sam Clucas putting us ahead before Morgan Schneiderlin got one back for the Toffees and I spent the last 20 minutes of the game praying it would be over with the score remaining 2-1. It did and with other teams falling, I suddenly started to realise that we could actually win this thing.