x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

No luck of the draw for Bruce

The Wigan manager Steve Bruce would love a run in the FA Cup - but thinks fate is against him.

The Wigan manager Steve Bruce would love a run in the FA Cup - but thinks fate is against him. Bruce takes his side to White Hart Lane on Friday night in the first game of the third round against Tottenham, which he views as a stiff test. He said: "I really do not have the best of luck on cup draws. I always get drawn against a big team. "Every year it's Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United. Being away to Spurs is not the most ideal draw."

Wigan, however, go into the match on the back of a excellent string of results. Five wins in six Premier League matches have propelled them to seventh place in the table and in sight of a Uefa Cup spot. Bruce will have to give a number of squad players a run-out because of injuries. He said: "For a club like ours, a cup is a realistic chance of winning something. "Although I will give some of the fringe players a run out this week I will be expecting a performance. If we can get past Spurs then who knows how far we can go."

Meanwhile, the Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admits he is torn between the club's current plight and his love of the FA Cup. Ahead of the Wigan game, Redknapp has other matters on his plate such as next week's Carling Cup semi-final against Burnley and climbing the Premier League table. "There are lots of games, too many in all honesty," Redknapp said. "There is not time to get your breath." Redknapp has a long history in the FA Cup, starting with his famous win over Manchester United while at Bournemouth. He is also the holder of the trophy after leading Portsmouth to glory last May.

"I hate to say that we could do without it. I'd rather have a run in this than the Uefa Cup - there are so many games left in that. "For me the Carling Cup is very important but the most important thing is the league." * PA Sport