By Phil Medlicott, PA
Blackburn captain Lewis Travis has described leading the team out at Wembley as “big on the bucket list” as Rovers prepare to face Sheffield United for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Neither the 25-year-old midfielder, who has been with Blackburn since 2014, nor the club have been to the ‘new’ Wembley stadium.
They will look to book their place there when they take on the Blades, their fellow Championship outfit, in Sunday’s last-eight tie at Bramall Lane.
And Travis said: “It’s massive, it’s big on the bucket list.
“If we got to Wembley, it would just be a proud moment for me and my family, one that would stick with me forever.”
He added: “I’ve never (been) to be honest. I keep saying to the people around me I’ve never been but I need to go. This season hopefully we can get there twice – or three times!”
As well as having the possibility of playing in the FA Cup semis and final at the stadium, Blackburn are also on track for a place in the Championship play-offs this term.
A 2-1 win over Reading on Wednesday – their sixth win in seven games in all competitions, which included beating Sheffield United 1-0 at home in the league on March 4 – left them fifth in the table, five points better off than seventh-placed Norwich.
Things appear to be gathering real momentum under the management of Jon Dahl Tomasson, the former Newcastle, AC Milan and Denmark striker who took charge last summer.
And Travis said: “There’s a really good feeling in the camp at the moment, all the boys are firing, the fans look like they are buzzing. It’s just a great place to be at the moment.
“I think obviously when a new manager comes in it takes time to implement what he wants on the pitch. Hopefully we’re grasping that now and it’s showing on the grass.
“We went through a stage of winning, losing, winning, losing. But we’re putting good results in at the moment and we just need to keep going now to the end of the season.
“I think maybe at the start of the year a lot of people wrote us off in the league, and no-one was probably talking about the FA Cup.
“But now we’re here it gets people talking and it just shows people what we’re about. If we give a good account of ourselves and play how we can play on Sunday, I think we can get there.”
Regarding Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United, who were six points clear of the play-off places in second after Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Sunderland, Travis said: “They have a good budget in our league compared to most teams, compared to us, they’ve got really good players, they’re a good team in my opinion.
“But I think we do stuff different. I think if both teams are playing on top form, and like it happened at our place, our intensity might take over a little bit. Hopefully we can go replicate that, what we did at home, and have a good game.”