Football - Cup is a welcome distraction - Flitcroft

Barnsley could be forgiven for focusing all their attention on surviving another season in the npower Championship, but Saturday's tricky fifth-round FA Cup tie at MK Dons is a welcome distraction for manager David Flitcroft.

PA Sport

The Tykes are on a roll under Flitcroft, who has steered them to six wins, one draw and a single defeat in eight games since replacing Keith Hill as boss at the end of December to give fans genuine hope they can haul themselves clear of the drop.

Two of those victories have come against Championship rivals Burnley and Hull in rounds three and four of the FA Cup respectively and with a money-spinning televised quarter-final awaiting the winners at stadium:mk on Saturday, Flitcroft has incorporated the famous knockout competition into his grand plan.

"I love the tournament, I love the trophy and I can't wait for Saturday's game," the 41-year-old said.

"The semi-finals being at Wembley is a great plus. This whole process is all about going home and making your family proud of you and the FA Cup seems to do that more than ever. It just catches the imagination.

"The players want to win the football match, there's no doubt about that and it gives them a welcome break from the league because it's been relentless since I took over.

"There's been a lot of planning, a lot of things have changed and we've moved quite a long way in a short space of time, which sometimes takes its toll."

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