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Cherries: Howe won't let cup distract him
Howe piloted Cherries into the third round of the competition for the first time in eight years following a 3-1 victory over Carlisle on Saturday.
And in yesterday’s draw, Cherries were paired against Premier League Wigan Athletic and will head to the DW Stadium on Saturday, January 5.
However, before meeting the Latics, Cherries face six league games in a four-week spell and will be looking to continue to make up ground on the leaders.
Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Howe said: “It will be a good yardstick for us. Wigan are an established Premier League club and Roberto Martinez has done an excellent job there.
“They have some very good players and a very strong squad and it will be a good test for us. I know our players will relish pitting themselves against players at a Premier League club.
“As a player, you aspire to perform at the highest level and reaching the third round of the FA Cup has given us an opportunity to meet a club from the top flight.
“We will do our homework on Wigan and be fully prepared once the game comes round. But, before then, we have six very important league games and a hectic festive schedule.
“Our priority is to try to win the next game and that is against Scunthorpe on Saturday.”
Elected to the Football League in 1978, Wigan beat Cherries 3-0 in the third round in 1986 when ex-Dean Court star Warren Aspinall was on target for the Latics.
They were dumped out by then-League Two high-fliers Swindon in the third round last season and by League One Notts County in the fourth round in 2009-10, the Magpies having beaten Cherries in the second round.
Cherries, roared on by 430 visiting supporters, booked their 39th appearance in the third round thanks to goals from Wes Fogden, Eunan O’Kane and Marc Pugh at Carlisle.
The trip to Wigan could give Cherries midfielder Wes Fogden an opportunity to make up for missing out on a memorable FA Cup occasion with Havant & Waterlooville against Liverpool in 2008 when the non-league outfit lost 5-2 in front of a crowd of 42,566 at Anfield.
Fogden, who also scored in the first round win over Dagenham & Redbridge, told the Daily Echo: “I was at Brighton at the time and had a chance to go on loan to either Dorchester or Havant & Waterlooville.
“I chose Dorchester and missed out which was a shame. I was gutted I made the wrong decision but you can never look back and regret it because it has got me where I am now.”
Cherries, who have already pocketed £45,000 in FA Cup prize money this term, will be playing for £67,500 at Wigan.