Sammon set to make first Cup start
CONOR Sammon is relishing the chance to make his first start in the FA Cup today.
The Derby County striker's only appearance in the competition so far came as an 89th-minute substitute for Wigan Athletic in their defeat by Swindon Town a year ago.
"Wigan made a lot of changes and credit to Swindon, they totally outplayed us and fully deserved to knock us out. That is my only game in the Cup," said Sammon, who is set to lead Derby's attack in this afternoon's third round home tie against Tranmere Rovers.
Sammon is fully aware of the history of the FA Cup, having watched matches while growing up in Ireland.
"It is an unbelievable cup with so much history. It means a lot to me personally," he said.
"I was a big Manchester United fan as a kid and I remember watching Eric Cantona score the winning goal against Liverpool in the final.
"It would be nice to have a good run. You are only four games away from Wembley and it is a dream for any player to go and play there.
"The Cup definitely still means something. It doesn't matter whether it is the League Cup, the FA Cup, the League or a friendly – every game means something here.
"Tranmere are a good team and doing fantastically well in League One, so we will have to be right on our game if we are to get through."
Sammon returned to the team for the victory over Middlesbrough after he was left out at Charlton in the previous game.
Manager Nigel Clough said Sammon was given a breather at Charlton and the player responded by scoring his sixth goal of the season in the win against Middlesbrough.
"I fully respect the manager's decisions. If he chooses to leave me out, that is up to him," said Sammon.
"I felt fresh going into the Middlesbrough game and it was great to get the three points and get a goal."
Sammon's six goals have come in 25 appearances (23 starts) since his £1.2m move from Wigan in the summer.
Clough believes there is more to come from the striker.
"Conor didn't play brilliantly against Boro but he was a handful, never gave the defenders a minute and got himself a goal," said Clough.