Dickov keen to make most of 'final chance'

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The Independent Football

Paul Dickov knows he might never have a better chance of reaching the FA Cup final than this season. The Blackburn striker, who is likely to shake off a badly-bruised thigh to play against his former club, Leicester City, in tomorrow's quarter-final at Ewood Park, said: "I was probably 44th man when I was at Arsenal and they were getting into FA Cup finals.

"I have only got to the fifth round before with Leicester and Manchester City so already this is the furthest I have got in my career. I'm a bit of a dreamer with things like this so I don't see why we cannot win and go on even further. I will probably get into trouble with the manager for not just looking ahead one game at a time but I do feel we can go all the way."

Dickov's former Leicester team-mates have been phoning him this week. "Nikos Dabizas and Keith Gillespie have both rung me - but only because I think their manager wants to know if I will be fit!" he said.

"It is a bit sore and a bit bruised. I will train and see how it goes. It makes it extra special against a former club so I will be doing everything I can to get out there."

For all his confidence, the Scot is not assuming it will be a walkover for Rovers against the struggling Championship side. He said: "Leicester are having a tough time in the League but we have to remember they went to The Valley and beat Charlton on their own pitch, which a lot of Premiership sides have struggled to do this season. If we think it's going to be easy we just have to look at their result in the last round."

For Blackburn manager Mark Hughes, victory would mean a return to the Millennium Stadium where he enjoyed so many memorable moments as manager of Wales. As the only player to have won the FA Cup four times during the 20th century, he has a special relationship with the competition.

Hughes said: "I have had great memories from the Cup and it has been a big part of my football career. I won it in my first full season as a player and now in my first season as a Premiership manager it is coming into play again.

"We have a great opportunity to get into a semi-final at the Millennium and we are desperate to get there. The Millennium Stadium is a fantastic place but I am biased.

"We have competed well before with clubs from the lower leagues and that will stand us in good stead."