Demba Ba sees the FA Cup as the perfect opportunity to claim his first piece of silverware in professional football.
We travel to Middlesbrough tonight looking to book our place in the last eight with a trip to Manchester United in store for the victors, and Ba is determined to make up for lost time and start his medal collection this season.
‘Anyone can look on the internet and know I didn’t win anything in my career, so I am getting hungry,’ the striker, a January arrival from Newcastle, said. ‘In the past my clubs have taken the league more seriously than the cup competitions, and I didn’t win anything yet. But now I am at Chelsea I am not afraid of the next years.
‘Realistically this season we have two chances of silverware and I am cup-tied in the Europa League so I hope we can do something in the FA Cup. I know about Wembley Stadium, heard a lot about it, and I want to play there with Chelsea.
‘I’ve not played much in the FA Cup, but I know how important it is for the club and the fans. It’s the English Cup, so we need to do something good in the competition. My last trophy was in youth football I think when I was young at Under-17 or Under-18 probably.’
Boro come into the game with only one win from their last seven games after a promising start to the campaign, but seventh in the Championship they will still have at least one eye on a potential promotion push.
‘I don’t know that much about Middlesbrough, but they are doing well in the Championship table,’ Ba said. ‘They lost last week against Millwall, and I watched that game on the bus travelling back from our game against Manchester City. ‘We need to be concentrated because we know how big this game is. I know they are rivals with Newcastle but I never got the chance to play against them.’
Still recovering from a broken nose sustained against his former side at the start of the month, Ba reported he is on the mend, and it will not be long before he is unmasked once more.
‘The nose is good, it’s much better but I think I will still be in the mask for another week or 10 days. It’s still clearing up but it’s a lot better,’ he said.