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Brighton boss Poyet blasts Prem managers for devaluing FA Cup

Brighton boss Gus Poyet has slammed Premiership managers for cheapening the FA Cup by fielding understrength teams.

Martin O'Neill is expected to rest most of his first-choice stars this afternoon - the third of four games in an 11-day spell for the Carling Cup finalists.

But Poyet, 42, insisted: "The FA Cup is unique and really important.

"I was worried when I saw some of the attendances for the third round. Some of the big stadiums only had 5,000 people. We need to go back to what it used to be with teams putting out their best sides, trying to win it.

"Managers need to start respecting it again. We need to bring the magic back. Because of the financial pressures on clubs and busy fixture lists, we are losing it a bit.

"The cup means so much to me. Everywhere else around the world, the Copa del Rey in Spain, French Cup and Italian Cup, they are secondary competitions.

"But any foreigner coming to England wants to play in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

"I'll always remember the red carpet, the flowers. The final against Villa was the last at a beautiful, very special stadium. I'm not saying the new Wembley isn't any good - it's new and comfortable - but it doesn't have the tradition of the old stadium.

"That was something else and when the draw was made all the memories came back.

"But Villa Park is a difficult place to go and I can't remember even winning there with Chelsea."

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Tribal Football Staff

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