'I won't get 1927 rammed down my throat anymore'

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The Independent Football

Cardiff City's match-winner, Joe Ledley, maintains that the Bluebirds will be undaunted by the prospect of facing Portsmouth in next month's FA Cup final.

The Wales international, who scored the only goal with a ninth-minute volley against Barnsley at Wembley yesterday, said: "It is brilliant for Cardiff City. It is a great season for us and we go into the final with confidence and we will try and win it. I think we deserved the game."

On his goal he said: "It was a difficult ball coming down and I just hit it, and the luck was there and it went in."

The club's manager, David Jones, was, unsurprisingly, delighted to reach the final, especially after what the club has had to endure this season, with the threat of being wound up hanging over their heads for a long period.

"For what has gone on this year it is fantastic achievement for these players," Jones said. "I have had promotions and been in finals but I've never been in an FA Cup final, and today was a great feeling for me.

"We have worked really hard to get through to the final and it's great for the fans and everyone associated with the club. I won't get 1927 [the only time Cardiff have won the trophy] rammed down my throat any more."

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was a losing FA Cup finalist in 2002 with Chelsea, was overjoyed to be returning to the showpiece event.

"I have been with Chelsea to a cup final but this is unbelievable," he said. "This is a little bit more special because we are a championship team and we are playing good football and getting to the FA Cup final."

The 36-year-old Dutchman knows his best days are behind him but still feels he can contribute. "There's still a little bit of football in there," he said. "I got a little bit tired at the end but you have to keep on going."

Barnsley's manager, Simon Davey, accepted his side came up short.

"We had 80 minutes to get back into the game but it was just not to be," he said. "We acquitted ourselves well and all the players deserve credit for what they have done. We just fell short right at the end."

* Cardiff’s hopes of securing a place in Europe were given a boost after Uefa spokesman William Gaillard suggested they could be given a wild card next season. Under the current rules the FA Cup finalists will not be nominated to play in the Uefa Cup because they play in an English league. Gaillard said: “From a sporting point of view Cardiff deserve to play in the Uefa Cup.”