Football FA Cup: Olsen prioritises Worthington Cup

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EGIL OLSEN is about to savour the unique flavour of the FA Cup for the first time this weekend - but he cannot help eying a more "important" cup tie.

Dave Bassett, Wimbledon's former manager, brings his First Division promotion hopefuls Barnsley to Selhurst Park today for their third-round tie, but the Dons are just two rounds from Wembley in the Worthington Cup.

Olsen's team travel to Bolton for that quarter-final on Tuesday and the Norwegian manager was in typically deadpan mood on the eve of his first encounter with the world's most romantic knock-out competition.

"I'm looking forward to both cup matches," he said, "but Tuesday is the most important for us because we are close to Wembley. There is a long way to go in the FA Cup. We have a chance to beat Bolton and after that it's Tranmere or Middlesbrough and then it could be Wembley."

A Wembley visit would be a terrific way to cap Olsen's first year with Wimbledon, whose greatest moment came in the 1988 FA Cup final when they beat Liverpool 1-0. At the time, Olsen was a part-time manager with the Oslo club Lyn, but he sensed his destiny with the Dons.

Olsen said: "I know 1988 was a great moment for the club and I remember watching the game on television. I was something of a Wimbledon fan in Norway. I was very happy for Wimbledon. I always support the underdog, but I don't support Barnsley tomorrow."

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