Mark Howard, the Sheffield United goalkeeper, enters tonight’s Capital Cup quarter-final against Southampton determined to reach Wembley for the second time since arriving at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
The former Blackpool goalkeeper helped Nigel Clough’s side blaze a trail into the last four of the FA Cup earlier this year before being beaten 5-3 by Hull City.
And, as United prepare to host the visitors from St Mary’s, Howard admitted: “Hull definitely still rankles with me. The day, the experience was something I will never forget and was obviously, my highest achievement in football.
“Promotion will be the one we are pushing for more but we are the only League One team still in this competition. We are here for a reason, because we have done well.
“We could have beaten Hull. They had five chances and scored five goals.
“I can’t remember making a good save or there being that many blocks. It was just that, as a Premier league team, Hull took their chances. That was the difference on the day.
“We had a few more chances but couldn’t take them. That said, we gave them a good game. I think Hull would say the same. I’d guess they were surprised at how much we imposed ourselves on what happened.”
United overcame Aston Villa, Fulham and Nottingham Forest en route to their meeting with City and have already dispatched West Ham in this term’s Capital One Cup.
Howard added: “I went to the (FA) Cup final to collect an award on behalf of the club.
“It brought things home a bit more. It was a weird feeling sitting there.
“I knew we had only been 45 minutes away from making the final.”