Harry Winks loves to see an FA Cup giant-killing, but is wary of Tottenham’s opponents AFC Wimbledon having gone so close to losing against Wycombe Wanderers in last season’s competition.
The young England midfielder was making one of his first starts for Tottenham against Wycombe of League Two at White Hart Lane last January, and it took two late goals to save Spurs blushes. ‘It was very tough, one of the toughest games I played all season. It was frustrating to play in but I learned a lot from it,’ he said.
‘Wycombe played really well. I have a friend who plays for them, Luke O’Nien, and we spoke after the game. It was 3-2 to them with about five minutes to go and we came back to win 4-3 with a last-minute winner. It was like we’d won the FA Cup on the pitch. It was brilliant, and a relief to win.’
Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is looking forward to Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Wimbledon
Wimbledon knocked out Charlton Athletic in round two and Winks has urged Spurs to be wary
Mauricio Pochettino rested a raft of key players for that game, as he will do against Wimbledon of League One, and Winks knows they will be just as dangerous as Wycombe were.
Winks said: ‘If you watch the game as a neutral and you see lesser teams doing really well and beating a bigger team, it’s special and it’s great to see. But hopefully on Sunday that won’t be the case.
‘I love watching football and it’s nice to see the underdog win, especially if it’s not against your team. Wimbledon are coming here wanting to win and they’re going to go at us, so we have to respect them, respect the cup and approach the game in the right manner.’
As one of Tottenham’s England contingent, Winks knows all about the magic of the FA Cup but says the overseas players also grasp its significance to a club that have won it seven times.
He explained: ‘As a young English player growing up watching the FA Cup, it’s a magical trophy and something everyone wants to win in their career.
Winks has been an unused sub in Tottenham’s last two games but is likely to start at Wembley
No 29 Winks helped Spurs overcome smaller opposition last year when they beat Wycombe
‘I think as English players having grown up watching the FA Cup, it’s probably a little bit more special. But when the foreign lads arrive in the country they realise just how important the FA Cup is and they take to it quite well.
‘That’s what I’ve experienced from the players in our dressing room. They take it very seriously as well. They understand how much it means to the club and the supporters.’
Winks adds that Tottenham have the advantage of being used to their temporary home Wembley and he suggests the Cup is their best chance of winning silverware this season, having reached the semi-final last season.
He said: ‘We’ve had a lot of experience and exposure here this season, so we know how the ground is and the atmosphere and stuff. We can see it as an advantage.
‘The FA Cup is something we take very seriously, as we did last year. The thing is with the cup, you can never be too sure. The magic of the cup has been proven so many times and anything can happen, so as long as we approach the game in the right manner, and approach the game to win, we should hopefully have no trouble.’