FA Cup: Winks wants Tottenham trophy
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Harry Winks is in no doubt how important the FA Cup is for Tottenham this season as the club look to end their 10-year wait for a major trophy.
Spurs host League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon on Sunday, knowing the tournament represents their most realistic chance of winning silverware for the first time since 2008.
With Manchester City out of sight at the top of the Premier League and a fearsome Juventus to face in the Champions League next month, Tottenham can ill-afford any complacency this weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino has overseen a remarkable period of progress since taking charge in 2014 but the team’s improvement is yet to be converted into trophy success.
“For me it’s very important,” Winks said. “As a young English player growing up watching the FA Cup, it’s a magical trophy and it’s something everyone wants to win in their career.
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“The FA Cup is something we take very seriously and we did last year as well. The thing is with the cup, you can never be too sure.
“The magic of the cup has been proven so many times and anything can happen, so as long as we approach the game in the right manner, and approach the game to win, we should hopefully have no trouble.”
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Wimbledon sit 21st in League One and are taking on Premier League opposition for only the second time since the club was founded in 2002, having lost to Liverpool in the FA Cup three years ago.
But Tottenham will be wary as last season they were a goal down to League Two side Wycombe with one minute to go, before Dele Alli and Son Heung-min both struck to seal a dramatic 4-3 win.
“I played in that game and it was tough, very tough – one of the toughest games I played all season actually,” added Winks.
“It was frustrating to play in but I learned a lot from it as well on a personal note. They played really well.
“I have a friend who plays for them, Luke O’Nien, and we spoke after the game. Credit to them, they put on a great performance.
“I think it was ‘Sonny’ with the last-minute winner. It was like we’d won the FA Cup on the pitch. It was brilliant, the relief to win, it was a good day.”
Tottenham have been vulnerable at Wembley this season but their move to the national stadium could prove advantageous later in the tournament, when the semi-finals and final would feel like something of a home fixture.
“We’ve had a lot of experience and exposure here this season especially, so we know how the ground is and the atmosphere,” Winks said.
“We can see it as an advantage but we have to get to that stage before we can even talk about that.”
Winks is hoping to shake off an ankle problem to start on Sunday, when Pochettino is likely to rotate a number of key players following the busy Christmas period.
Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris are likely to be among those rested and Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela, Juan Foyth and Michel Vorm could come in.