West Ham supporters will surely be in agreement with Watford midfielder Will Hughes, who has suggested that other teams in the Premier League have not taken the FA Cup seriously this season.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were one of the Premier League teams to be knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition, losing 4-2 at League 1 side AFC Wimbledon in the Fourth Round at the end of January.
West Ham were sat in 10th place in the Premier League, where they ultimately ended the season, and were 12 points clear of the relegation places when they travelled to Wimbledon in the Fourth Round, but despite naming a fairly strong side Pellegrini’s team were beaten by their League 1 opponents.
Hughes, who has reached this season’s FA Cup final with Watford where they will face Manchester City on Saturday, suggested that he is glad that he and his fellow team-mates took the competition seriously in the early stages, unlike other teams in the Premier League.
“In the early rounds teams are a bit blasé they aren’t really bothered about being knocked out, but from our point of view we’re glad that we went and played so hard in them early rounds to get to a final,” Hughes told Talksport 2 on Friday [11:38am].
Those comments will resonate with supporters of the Premier League sides that were knocked out in the early rounds of the FA Cup, and West Ham fans will be thinking what might have been, if the Hammers would have taken the competition more seriously, especially considering they beat Watford 4-1 on the final day of the season.
Not taking the domestic cup competitions seriously is one of the most frustrating things about being the supporter of a mid-table Premier League side, who are in no real danger of being relegated as West Ham were this season.
However, where some managers elected to rest almost all of their main players, Pellegrini did include the likes of Michail Antonio, Javier Hernandez, Mark Noble and Issa Diop in his starting line-up against Wimbledon.
Therefore, the Hammers should have had enough quality to get through to the Fifth Round, but as Hughes acknowledges there is at times a problem with the mentality of players, who appear not to be too concerned by being knocked out of the competition.
West Ham supporters will hope they can perform better in the cup competitions next season, which is something Pellegrini will be wanting to ensure happens in his second season in charge of the club.