Skipper Keogh has raised his sights as he targets fifth round Cup spot
RICHARD Keogh has his sights on reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in his career.
Keogh will lead Derby County in tomorrow's fourth-round tie against Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park hoping to go one step further than he has been before in the competition.
Back in 2006-07, the defender was playing for Bristol City when they were knocked out at the fourth round stage by Middlesbrough.
City won 1-0 at York in the first round before they saw of Gillingham 4-3 at Ashton Gate to set up a third-round tie against Coventry City for whom Keogh would play a few years later. The teams drew 3-3 at Ashton Gate and Bristol City won the replay 2-0 at the Ricoh Arena.
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It was Middlesbrough at Ashton Gate next. The visitors built a two-goal lead in the first half through Yakubu and Malcolm Christie, the former Derby striker.
Keogh pulled a goal back for City before Scott Murray equalised to earn a replay at the Riverside Stadium.
Yakubu and Mark Viduka scored for Middlesbrough in another 2-2 draw before battling City were knocked out 5-4 on penalties.
"I think that was my most memorable FA Cup tie," said Keogh, who also recalled playing for Carlisle United against Everton in a third-round tie at Goodison Park in 2010.
James Vaughan put Everton ahead before Kevan Hurst levelled for Carlisle, who held out until Everton scored twice in the final 10 minutes through Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines, a penalty.
Keogh played right-back that afternoon and was up against Steve Pienaar and Baines on Everton's left.
"I really enjoyed that game," said Keogh. "There was a fantastic atmosphere at Goodison and it is a great ground to play football."
Keogh also reached the fourth round in 2011-12 while with Coventry.
The Sky Blues led 2-0 away to Birmingham City thanks to goals from Marlon King and Richard Wood, and they looked destined for the fifth round until Birmingham stormed back.
David Bentley and Stuart Parnaby scored, and then striker Kevin Phillips popped up with the winner for Birmingham.
Derby beat Tranmere Rovers 5-0 earlier this month to set up tomorrow's game against Blackburn and Keogh is hoping the club can have a cup run.
"It would be good for the club – it would be good financially, and for confidence," he said.
"Obviously, it will be a tough game but you want a home draw in these games and that's what we've got. Our home record is very good.
"It's a tie we can win, so we will go into it full of confidence.
"We just want to win as many games as we can.
"We've got Blackburn in the Cup followed by Huddersfield at home in the League. If we can get positive results from those two games, hopefully we can move up the table as well.
"We have played Blackburn at home already this season and drew 1-1. I thought we played really well and we definitely deserved at least a point.
"We know what to expect from Blackburn. Like Nottingham Forest, they've invested heavily and have a lot of quality players who have played a lot of games at Premier League level.
"But we don't fear anyone at home. We are looking forward to it.
"The FA Cup is a sepcial competition. If we can get past Blackburn, hopefully we can get a good tie and then, who knows?
"You have only got to look at Bradford City and what they have achieved in the Capital One Cup.
"They have shown that if you work hard and stick to your game-plan, anything is possible.
"They have shown what can be achieved if you have a good team ethic and team spirit, which we have here."