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English Premiership

Old boys welcome Spurs

LONDON, March 5 – Tottenham Hotspur have a proud tradition when it comes to the FA Cup, having lifted the famous trophy eight times, whereas Fulham have played in the final just once, back in 1975.But if the Cottagers do reach their first semi-final since that run, which saw them beaten 2-0 at Wembley by another fellow London club West Ham, the chances are they will have some former Spurs players to thank.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has four to choose from in Bobby Zamora, the forward, midfielders Simon Davies and Danny Murphy and Stephen Kelly, the defender.

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, who will try to shackle the in-form Zamora, was aware the quartet would all be keen to get one over their former club when the tie kicks off at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground on Saturday.

"Simon Davies was at Tottenham when I first came to the club, and ‘Murph’ was here as well," he said.

"I’ve played with Bobby at England Under-21 level but not when he was at Tottenham. They’re good players and we know they’re a good team.

"Bobby’s definitely one of the in-form strikers in the Premier League at the moment. Whenever you play against him you know it’s going to be a tough. He’s certainly on fire at the moment, scoring some good goals.

"Look at the way he holds the ball up, his goal-scoring, he’s a top player. You come up against so many of them in the Premier League so it’s going to be another good test."

With Arsenal and Manchester United both having been knocked out in earlier rounds the opportunity is there for Spurs to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1991 and Dawson was adamant the north London side had their sights set on more than just a Wembley semi-final.

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"We’re 90 minutes away from Wembley," he said. "If we go there in the semi-final we’ll certainly want to go there and play again. It’s not just one day out, it’s cup final day that you want to be there, not the semis. You want to win the cup, it’s as simple as that.

"This year you look at the teams who have gone out of the competition, but the teams that are still in will all be thinking the same as us."

Fulham, ninth in the Premier League table to Tottenham’s fourth, are also still in the Europa League and have a double-header with Italian giants Juventus to look forward to this month.

But for Republic of Ireland international Kelly, the FA Cup remains a prize worth fighting for.

"Tottenham in the FA Cup this weekend is special for me, especially if I can get one over on them," he said.

"They are playing a lot of good football and doing very well in the league at the minute.

"It is going to be difficult, but we have got them at home and our home form has been very good this season so why can’t we get through to the next round?

"We are in the next round of the Europa League, the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, our league position is going well and we are also playing a lot of good football."

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