Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jones in Wembley Wonderland

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jones in Wembley Wonderland

Article excerpt

CARDIFF boss Dave Jones has hit back at Sir Alex Ferguson's claims the FA Cup has been devalued by the semi-finals being held at Wembley.

The days of semis being played at neutral venues like Villa Park and Old Trafford appear numbered for the foreseeable future at least with the FA having signed a 30-year staging agreement to host the games at Wembley. It is a decision which drew criticism from the Manchester United manager, who argued it took "a wee bit of the real lustre" off the final.

Jones, whose side take on Barnsley tomorrow (ko 4pm), accepts the argument may be a valid one for the big four, who make regular trips to Wembley.

But with this season's semi-finals involving sides unaccustomed to such familiarity with the national stadium, he insists it can only be a good thing.

"If you're one of the bigger clubs who are getting there year in year out then it does take a little bit away because the final is the last game of the competition that everybody wants to go to," he said. …

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