Mark Schwarzer is expected to make his debut away at Swindon Town this evening, bringing with him a strong League Cup pedigree.
The Australian appeared in three finals as a Middlesbrough player, losing to Leicester City in 1997 and a Gianluca Vialli-managed Chelsea in 1998 before finally lifting the trophy in Cardiff after victory over Bolton Wanderers in 2004.
Now working under Jose Mourinho, Schwarzer is looking forward to a first outing after understudying Petr Cech since his summer switch from Fulham, and retains the hunger for another final.
‘Over the years my sides have done reasonably well and I’ve won it once before with Middlesbrough, as well as playing in a couple of finals, so generally I’ve had a pretty good time,’ Schwarzer said.
‘I played at the old Wembley Stadium twice, once against Chelsea, which was fortunate, and then at Cardiff for the final we won in 2004, but I’ve never played at the new Wembley, which is something to aspire to this time around for sure, and I’d like to help the club reach another final.’
We are yet to lift the League Cup since the reopening of Wembley in 2007, having won it earlier that year in Wales before losing to Spurs after extra-time a year later. Last season we were beaten semi-finalists as Swansea went on to beat Schwarzer’s former side Bradford City in the final.
Schwarzer is determined for there to be no slip-ups this time around, starting tonight at the County Ground as he prepares, at 40, to become Chelsea’s oldest ever debutant.
‘I’ve been made aware of it before,’ he smiled. ‘I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, and I don’t even tend to look at those sort of statistics. I just want to go and do my thing, play as well as I possibly can and hopefully help the team get through to the next round.
‘We will approach the game in the right way, we’ve got a very strong squad travelling and we will approach this game as seriously as any other.’