Charlton Athletic have been drawn at Hartlepool United in the EFL Trophy quarter final – with just two more wins required to seal a trip to Wembley.
Addicks manager Johnnie Jackson made 11 changes for Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Milton Keynes. Jonathan Leko’s stoppage-time header ensured the South Londoners progressed.
And Jackson admits that not playing at England’s national stadium is one of his few regrets.
“I had a quarter-final with Charlton that we lost to Sheffield United and that was one of the biggest disappointments of my career because the semi-finals were at Wembley,” said Jackson.
“There were a couple of others where we just missed out in the play-offs.
“I am probably the last generation who watched the FA Cup and saw it as a really prestigious trophy. I went to cup finals to watch Arsenal and I dreamed of playing in a final at Wembley.
The match against Hartlepool will take place the week commencing January 24.
“Ideally I would want to get a home draw – especially with the schedule in January that would have suited us,” said Jackson. “I wasn’t worried who the opposition were going to be.
“I’d been asked for my preference and that was for a home tie.
“It’s a long trip but it is a winnable game. We have to go up there and see it as an opportunity to get one step closer.”
Akin Famewo is unable to feature against parent club Norwich in Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie at The Valley.
Top-scorer Jayden Stockley went to see a specialist this week about a hip issue.
“It’s a bit of a tricky injury that he has got,” said Jackson. “It is a bit of a nerve issue which is causing him a problem.
“It is a difficult one to get to the bottom of. It’s not quite right at the moment. It’s unlikely he’ll be involved this weekend.
“If there’s any doubt about him I have to protect him. We want to do well and win the game, but the league is the priority.”
PICTURES: PAUL EDWARDS
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