Sir Alex Ferguson has been drilling it home to his Manchester United players that it is time their nine-year FA Cup drought came to an end.
After winning the competition four times in 10 years after Ferguson finally ended his United trophy drought by beating Crystal Palace in 1990, the Red Devils have secured it just once since.
The 2004 win over Millwall has been followed by disappointing final defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea and two semi-final losses, the most recent against Manchester City in 2011.
Of the current squad, only Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher have winners’ medals, and Ferguson has told his players that statistic needs to change.
“The manager has made the point to us that we have not done too well in the last few years,” defender Chris Smalling said ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham.
“We need to make sure we get back on track in the competition.
“The league is going well and we’re into the Champions League knockout stages, so we want to do well in this as well.”
Smalling, 23, was less than six months old when Ferguson secured the first silverware of his illustrious reign after United beating Palace in the 1990 final replay at Wembley.
Since then, the advent and continued success of both the Premier League and Champions League have downgraded the FA Cup’s status within the English game.
Yet Smalling still views it as a special tournament and certainly one he would want on his CV.
“The FA Cup has always been a massive competition,” he said. “You’ve got the situation where lower league teams have the chance to play some of the top sides. It can be a real adventure.”