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Brooking happy with Championship clubs in FA Cup semis

Sir Trevor Brooking says he is delighted by this season's FA Cup semi-final line-up.

West Brom and Portsmouth will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday, while Cardiff and Barnsley meet at the same venue on Sunday afternoon.

With the Premier League's 'big four' all eliminated, an unlikely winner is set to emerge but Brooking believes it is just what the competition needed.

"It has been a bizarre competition and people have said we (the FA) must be upset none of the recognised big clubs are left but I know the four clubs and their fans are delighted - and so am I," he said.

"You've got to say that this is what the FA Cup needed. It is strange we've ended up with four so-called unfashionable clubs after putting the semis back at Wembley but I think it has now been given a different, higher profile again."

Having witnessed West Brom progress through the tournament Brooking, the FA's director of football development, fancies them to go all the way although he concedes he handed them the toughest tie when he made the draw at Soho Square.

"West Brom? I can certainly see them doing something. I was there when they scored five at Bristol Rovers in the sixth round, five at Coventry and three at Peterborough," Brooking said.

"They've been desperate to make sure I would be at their semi-final as their lucky mascot but maybe they were not quite so happy with me when they drew Pompey.

"Cardiff and Barnsley also play good stuff and I don't think any of them will be intimidated by Wembley because they'll think it is a chance to show what they can do to a big audience."

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Tribal Football Staff

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