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Cup Fever Continues

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 23rd February 2012 - 16:00

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Alan Irwin is the Voice of Everton for Liverpool's Radio City 96.7. An experienced radio journalist, Alan commentates on all of the Blues' matches and is well placed to provide insightful blogs on the progress of the team.

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I’m delighted that my two predictions (made in my last blog) of home victories were duly achieved over Chelsea and Blackpool. Two clean sheets as well, even better than I expected!

I don’t know what pleased me more, beating Chelsea or reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup? I suppose it’s that old mantra of one game at a time and therefore the latest victory is always the sweetest. I must admit I still love the FA Cup and would relish a return to Wembley. 

Watching the FA Cup draw is always a little nerve-racking I find - even more so at this stage of the competition. So thanks to Peter Reid for ensuring he pulled us out for a home tie - yet again! Incredible! 

Sunderland will be tough, no doubt though that they’ll be saying exactly the same. Hopefully by the time the tie comes around the “Martin O'Neill factor” will have well and truly calmed down!

With a couple of games still to be rearranged - Liverpool away and Arsenal at home at the time of blogging - there’s plenty of football left in this season for us. 

Hopefully we’ll have to rearrange the Stoke game on the 14th April as that’s FA Cup semi-final weekend, not to mention the weekend of the Final itself on the 5th May (Wolves away for us)... sorry I’m getting carried away and very much ahead of myself! Told you I was still in love with the FA Cup!

Anyway back to matters in hand and it’s Queens Park Rangers next. It seems a while since we’ve had a reasonably long away trip so I’m looking forward to this one, and surely it’s one we can win.

Mark Hughes or not, I still think they’re in a bit of trouble and may not escape relegation. They’ve struggled at home and that’s a recipe for the drop. They strengthened a little with Zamora, Onuoha and Cisse in the January window, although Cisse will still be banned so won’t play against us.

It still doesn’t fill you with fear looking at their teamsheet. I think we need to pay them back too for stealing the points at Goodison in that first game of ours in August.

We’re unbeaten in the last seven now in league and cup and that’s a nice little run that can only breed a touch more confidence. Our attitude and commitment seems to be at the level that all Evertonians expect (strange how it reappears after Christmas!) and if we can maintain that level then, as I mentioned earlier, there’s an awful lot left in this season yet.

I’ve been doing my homework as usual and going into this one at QPR with 25 games of the league season played, we’re still three points better off than we were last season. That tells me we’re still on course for a very reasonable finish to the campaign in terms of an overall points haul. Yes, still some tough games to come but also some very winnable ones at Goodison too.

So I’m looking forward to the month of March starting with three points at QPR, and then two great games at Goodison. 

The only downside to those games against Tottenham and Sunderland is that we won’t have Steven Pienaar

There I go again, getting a little ahead of myself...

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