You won’t catch Roberto Di Matteo underestimating the importance of cup competitions as head coach of West Bromwich Albion.
His side take on Rotherham in the second round of the Carling Cup tonight.
The Italian’s most memorable moments as a Chelsea player, a decade ago, came in Wembley finals.
Di Matteo scored what was the quickest goal in an FA Cup final when he opened against Middlesbrough after just 43 seconds in 1997, with his current Baggies No2 Eddie Newton grabbing the second Chelsea goal.
He also notched the only goal of the 2000 FA Cup final against Chelsea, having scored in the League Cup final two years previously, also against Boro.
Not surprisingly, Di Matteo is hoping for an extended run in this season’s competitions – he failed to win a single cup game as boss of MK Dons – to try and emulate some of those feats.
But he accepts that cup runs can be draining for a club on modest resources.
“We will be very professional,” he said.
“The beauty of the cup is that the smaller teams can beat bigger teams. If everyone does their jobs hopefully we can win the game. I’ve had a few good runs in the cup and it’ll be nice to progress.
“The two cup runs almost cost Burnley last year because they were struggling come April but equally it would have given them a buzz playing in a semi-final.”
Albion will be without Robert Koren and Chris Brunt (both calf injuries).
They are joined on the sidelines by Filipe Teixeira (heel) and Jerome Thomas (ill), although Joe Mattock is expected to recover from a minor knock.