Wycombe Wanderers defender Joe Jacobson is hoping the League Two side can cause an FA Cup upset at the weekend when they host Championship side Preston.
The Chairboys have enjoyed an encouraging first half to the season, with them currently sitting a place and point off an automatic promotion spot in the table. However, coming up against a side who are two divisions above them, Jacobson is hoping last season’s 4-3 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in the same stage of the competition this year will help give them the confidence they need to cause an upset.
The 31-year-old told Jewish News: “They’re probably doing a bit better than many people thought they would. I watched their game against Cardiff the other night – being a Cardiff lad myself – and they showed they’re very resolute, always in the game and when it matters they’ve got a bit of quality to go and win the game. It will be extremely difficult for us, but it’s an FA Cup tie and over the past few years, we’ve done very well against top teams, we have nothing to lose.
“We take confidence from the game against Spurs, and the year before that we took Aston Villa to a replay, when they were in the Premier League. The way the manager sets us up, we’re always going to be attacking teams, we don’t just sit back and try to hit someone on the break, as we showed by scoring three goals at Spurs last year.
“We know it will be extremely difficult, but it’s the FA Cup and anything can happen, hopefully they’ll be a big crowd down at Adams Park and hopefully it will be a game where Preston may not fancy it. Maybe they’ll rest a couple of players and we’ll hope they won’t be at 100 percent, if we can step up a level and play to our maximum ability, who knows, maybe we can cause an upset.”
Despite their fine league run and proximity to an automatic promotion place, he says they don’t view the cup run as a distraction, but rather welcomes it as it gives them more confidence for their league programme. “We want to have a cup run”, he says. “We said at the start of the season our main goal was to get promotion, but our cup run last season galvanised us and put us on a great run. We’re doing quite well in the league, but we don’t feel like we’ve put together a good run, so these cup games are good for us in that if we can win them, it adds to our confidence. For us, it’s not a distraction, we don’t have a game the following Saturday so we want to give everything we can and hopefully be in the draw for the next round.”
Reflecting back on the first half of the season, he said: “If someone had asked us if we could be in this position at this stage of the season, we probably would have taken it. But we’ve thrown away a couple of leads in recent games and have probably thrown away a few too many points over the course of the season. It’s kind of a season of what if’s right now, we feel like we haven’t properly performed as well as we can for periods in games and for a couple of games in a row, so to still be a point off the promotion places is a good sign.
“We beat Forest Green on Monday, but afterwards in the changing room the boys weren’t happy with the way we performed, we weren’t just satisfied about getting the three points.
“We’re striving to be better and better all the time and want to get promoted this season. We’ve a great bunch of lads who are very driven to get that success, we want to do as well as we can in the league, get promoted and that means we need to improve all the time, not rest, and hopefully that will take us all the way.”
Unlike last season’s trip to White Hart Lane and for the entire season to date, Jacobson hasn’t been joined on the pitch by Scott Kashket. The striker enjoyed a prolific first season for the side last year, before seeing his campaign cut short by injury – and he is yet to kick a ball this season. Hoping he gets back on the pitch as soon as possible, Jacobson said: “He’s been training recently and I think he’s getting as close as he’s ever been in the past six months to getting involved. At the minute, it’s not quite right for him, but I’m sure it’s not too long before we see him out there again.
“He was an unbelievable player for us last season, if he’d have stayed fit for the majority of last season, I’m sure we would have got into the play-offs, so if we can get him fit for the remainder of the 20-odd games left this season, then that will be a massive boost for the club.”