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Cherries: Jalal wants to continue personal cup journey
The Cherries stopper is hoping to retain his place in the club’s FA Cup line-up as boss Eddie Howe ponders whether to again tinker with his options.
Jalal has featured in both rounds of the competition this term and is desperate to be given a chance to display his credentials at the DW Stadium.
The 29-year-old could come in for first choice David James when Cherries visit Roberto Martinez’s Premier League strugglers tomorrow (3pm).
Jalal has watched as ex-England star James has racked up four successive clean sheets during Cherries’ 16-match unbeaten run under Howe.
But despite a lack of game-time since James’s arrival, Jalal says he is prepared to stake his claim as Cherries aim to spring a famous surprise.
He told the Daily Echo: “I am keen to play and itching to get back in the team. The team have been absolutely fantastic.
“To play against a Premier League team like Wigan, everybody wants to be in the team. But I am just training hard and, hopefully, I will be selected on Saturday.
“You kick every ball with the team and you want the team to win. There is disappointment not to be involved but I think that is the way the manager wants everybody to be. They want the hunger to get back in the side and I am no different.
“Jamo has kept four clean sheets in a row so we have got a good goalkeeping union there. But, hopefully, if given the chance, I can stake my claim.”
Jalal added: “I think that is what the manager and Jase (Tindall, assistant manager) have done really well – keeping everybody on their toes and making everybody feel like they are involved. I feel ready if called upon.”
Jalal is also bullish about Cherries’ prospects as they go in search of claiming a big scalp – and £67,500 in prize money – when they lock horns with Roberto Martinez’s Latics.
The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee, who is contracted to Cherries until 2014, believes Howe’s in-form underdogs should not be underestimated – a fact illustrated by the competition’s rich history of upsets.
He added: “We are respectful of the fact they are a Premier League side, they play good football and they have got a good manager.
“But we are a form team and I think we will go there, play our game and take it from there.
“It is the FA Cup and the FA Cup throws up surprises. There can’t be any reason why we can’t go up there, give a good account of ourselves and produce something.”