Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Pogatetz dreaming of semi-final place

Middlesbrough captain Emanuel Pogatetz will not allow the threat of relegation to get in the way of his FA Cup dream.

The 26-year-old Austria international will lead the Teessiders at Everton tomorrow after helping them reach the last eight for the fourth successive season.

But he will do so with his club languishing inside the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

In 1997. Boro reached the finals of both domestic cup competitions but were relegated - despite the presence of Juninho, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Emerson at the Riverside Stadium.

Pogatetz insists the events of 12 years ago cannot be allowed to colour the club’s thinking this time around - and while he admits his side face a major fight for top-flight survival, he is adamant the chance to reach an FA Cup semi-final is not one they can afford to ignore.

“The threat of relegation is there - and has been for quite a long time. But we have to think about how we can get out of there - and not if the club has been in a lower division before or not.

"We know that nearly every club has been relegated once, and hope we can avoid it this season.

"We can benefit from the cup competition; we can get confidence out of this cup competition, and it’s great for the supporters and the club that we are actually playing for a trophy.

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