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Page last updated at 07:09 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 08:09 UK

Jones backs Cardiff's Uefa claim

Dave Jones
Next month's FA Cup Final will be the first in Dave Jones' career

Dave Jones has welcomed support from Uefa that could give them a place in Europe if Cardiff City win the FA Cup.

Joe Ledley's goal sealed a 1-0 win over Barnsley on Sunday and booked a place in the final against Portsmouth.

The Football Association says it will not nominate Cardiff as the Welsh club play in England as a 'guest' team.

"Politically it's a minefield because with us getting to this final now there is no way they should stop us if we win it," said Cardiff manager Jones.

"If they stop us getting into Europe there will be all hell to pay and I'll be first in the queue."

Club chairman Peter Ridsdale explained that the whole situation was hypothetical at the moment and that the Bluebirds first needed to win the FA Cup before tackling any European issues.

"If we win well then we'll ask the right questions in the right places," he said. "We believe we've entered a competition that qualifies for Europe.

606: DEBATE

"If we win that competition, there's no reason why we shouldn't be put forward for Europe."

In normal circumstances the FA Cup winners qualify for the Uefa Cup, but Cardiff's problem is that as a Welsh club - although playing in the English league pyramid - they are not affiliated to the English FA.

However, Uefa president Michel Platini has already expressed his support for Cardiff if they win the Cup, with Uefa spokesman William Gaillard reiterating that support on Monday.

"We have to be nominated by the Welsh FA and they are not going to do that and the English FA aren't going to do it," Jones added.

"Platini has come out and said if it does happen we deserve to be there. It throws open the door now."

Of course before that happens Cardiff have the small matter of overturning Portsmouth in the final on 17 May.

But Jones is confident that his Championship side can add Pompey to the Premiership scalp of Middlesbrough they took to reach the semi-finals, and lift the Cup for the first time in 81 years.

"It's not about turning up and being a bit part," said Jones.

"We want to win it and why shouldn't we? I've said all season if we play to our potential we are a match for anyone."

For Jones, it will be his first appearance in an FA Cup final, and he says the semi-final win is one of the finest moments in his career.

I've played against Harry Redknapp many times for the different clubs he's been at and beat him

Cardiff boss Dave Jones

"I've been in finals, play-offs, won things as a manager but I've never been in an FA Cup final and it's a nice feeling," he said.

"This ranks up there with anything I've achieved. It's something special.

"With everything that has gone on off the pitch it's a great credit to my players."

Cardiff who are 24m in debt, only recently staved off the threat of administration after winning a court decision against creditors Langston.

Reaching the final means at least another 1m can be wiped off that figure.

And Jones will be looking to make it a double win over Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp.

The last time the two came head-to-head again was back in 1996 when Jones led Stockport to a League Cup win over West Ham, where Redknapp was then in charge.

"I've played against Harry many times for the different clubs he's been at and beat him when I was at Stockport and he was at West Ham," said Jones.

"It's anyone's game. It will be an open game. They are going to be favourites but we'll bring the support we had here and that's a fantastic bonus."




see also
Uefa offers Cardiff Euro lifeline
07 Apr 08 |  Cardiff City
Ledley eager for final challenge
06 Apr 08 |  Cardiff City
Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff
06 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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