The following article was written in 1982 by Anthony Hawkswell who was in conversation with Simon Stainrod ahead of the FA Cup Final. It was extracted from a popular football magazine of the time:
‚ÄúQPR are every bit as good as Tottenham and I’m sure that my skipper Glenn Roeder will be the man holding the FA Cup aloft at Wembley on Saturday. It’s going to be an attractive final and everyone will enjoy it…except Spurs !
Over the last few weeks we’ve proved that we have the players capable of winning the trophy. Some of our performances have been fantastic. We’ve annihilated some teams as we’ve tried for the Cup and promotion double. We scored 11 goals in just two games and during that spell it was like playing for Liverpool – everything just clicked into place. This is the best footballing side I’ve ever had the privilege of playing for. We combine hard work and determination with skill. As well as myself and Clive Allen, the team has so many other players who can score goals and turn the game on their own. During our big wins over Bolton (7-1) and Newcastle (4-0) only Mike Flanagan scored more than once in either match.
I’ve always had confidence in my own ability and I know that I’m good enough to play at the top level. Wembley gives me the chance to prove to people I’m right. But I’m not going out there to show the world how good I am. I’ll just be doing my very best to win the game for Queen’s Park Rangers. I want to play a good game for the team. If I get a chance to shine then all well and good. At the end of the day the most important thing is victory.
Tottenham have much more experience of cup finals than ourselves, but I don’t think that will affect the result. Our lads won’t freeze. If you want to get to the top, as we do, you’ve got to get used to the big games. Even though West Brom was my first ever semi-final, I wasn’t overawed by the occasion. The only feelings I had were of excitement. In fact, if anyone did freeze it was the First Division side. Obviously we’re not going to underestimate Tottenham because they are a very good side with a lot of talented players.
Along with our own Tony Currie I regard Glenn Hoddle as one of the best passers of a ball I’ve ever seen. We’ve got to keep his contribution down to a minimum even if it means tying up one of our men to do it. We’ve got to stop him getting the ball with his face to goal – that’s when he’s at his most deadly. There’s no-one around with the same vision, passing skills or goalscoring ability. He can hit the target from well outside the box. Having said that, I believe Glenn’s efficiency has suffered following the departure of Ossie Ardiles. He was the man who did all the spadework which created the freedom for Glenn to shine.
Although strikers Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks haven’t had the best of seasons because of injury, they are still one of the most dangerous goalscoring combinations and we’ll have to watch them very closely.
There were times when I thought we’d go out. We looked likely for an early exit in the 4th Round when we were held 0-0 at Fourth Division Blackpool. Our goalkeeper Peter Hucker made some great saves and in the end a draw was a good result for us. Back at our place we hammered them 5-1 with Clive Allen hitting the net four times.
Many people are surprised to see us at Wembley, but I had a sneaking feeling that we’d reach the final. During all the controversy about the synthetic pitch at Loftus Road and rumours that we wouldn’t be allowed to play an FA Cup-tie at home, I said to the lads that we’d win the Cup this year. It’s just the sort of ironic thing that happens in life !‚Äù