Belfast Telegraph

Fabio's Wembley dream intact as Boro edge past spirited Oxford

Middlesbrough 3 - Oxford United 2

By Damien Spellman

Fabio Da Silva is convinced rumours of the FA Cup's demise have been greatly exaggerated as he dreams of a first-ever trip to the final.

The full back, a losing semi-finalist with Manchester United in 2009, played his part as Middlesbrough edged past League One Oxford into the quarter-finals with an eventful 3-2 victory at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Boro avoided a shock - although they needed a late winner from Cristhian Stuani to spare their blushes following a spirited fightback which had seen the visitors cancel out a 2-0 lead - hours after National League Lincoln had stunned Premier League Burnley to reach the last eight.

With Millwall also dumping reigning English champions Leicester out of the competition, the path to Wembley has opened up invitingly, but Fabio is taking nothing for granted.

He said: "It is a big opportunity with the way the cup is going, but it also shows that you can never take anything for granted.

"If the big teams are going out to the smaller teams, it is because the smaller teams have quality and they are playing well. We know that is always possible and we have had to make sure it hasn't happened to us in the games we have played."

Boro - who will host either Huddersfield or Manchester City in the next round - face a potentially key trip to struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday, although Fabio believes an extended cup run could pay wider dividends in the race for survival.

He said: "When I was at Manchester United, we always took a lot from our cup runs. We always felt that doing well in the cups would help us with what we were trying to do in the league.

"You always get confidence from winning, no matter what competition you are playing in. We won 3-2 here, in a really good game, and everyone should be excited about that."

 

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