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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 16:54 GMT
Alan Hansen's column
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Swansea's Leon Britton and Paul Butler each scored as their side knocked Premiership side Sheffield United out of the FA Cup
Swansea duo Britton (left) and Butler each scored as the Swans beat Sheff Utd in the FA Cup

The FA Cup fourth round draw has not really thrown up any blockbuster ties.

This is great news for everybody. There are no ties such as the third round match between Liverpool and Arsenal in which one of the favourites will be eliminated.

But there are also plenty of ties that see lower division opposition playing each other - and those clubs will feel they have a good chance of progressing to the fifth round.

This stage of the FA Cup can be a fantastic time for clubs as far as media coverage, revenue, glory and kudos for their players is concerned. That is basically what these early rounds are all about.

The underdogs have got a great chance to make the headlines and their players can grab some glory.

But the FA Cup, in all honesty, will never be what it was in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s because the money in the Champions League and Premiership is now so huge.

But the big thing about the FA Cup is that if you put together a decent run in the competition it invariably helps your league form.

If you get to the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds the interest in the football club - its players, managers, directors and supporters - generates a buzz about the place.

I still think Jose Mourinho will be at Chelsea at the start of next season

That definitely helps you every game you play and I don't think that is going to be any different this year.

Last season we had a great FA Cup, culminating in one of the best finals we have seen in modern times.

In the third round this year there was a lot of goals, plenty of excitement and a couple of shocks.

Basically, that is what you need - some smaller teams getting through and tasting success before the bigger teams take over in the later rounds.

Away from the FA Cup, there has been a lots of speculation about the future of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

I think that he will be at Chelsea for the foreseeable future. At this time of the season there is a lot of paper talk but I still think he will be there at the start of next season.

FA Cup replays
08 Jan 07 |  FA Cup
Cup photos
07 Jan 07 |  Football


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