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Watford keeper Pantilimon eager to overcome Man City FA Cup disappointment

Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has revealed he hopes to erase the misery of being dropped for the 2013 FA Cup Final by returning to Wembley with the Hornets this season.

Pantilimon kept four clean sheets during Manchester City's run to the cup final three years ago, but was axed by Roberto Mancini in favour of Joe Hart ahead of the decider.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a similar run of success while deputising for Watford's first choice shot-stopper Heurelho Gomes during this year's FA Cup campaign and is hopeful he will be given the nod to play should the Hornets make the Final of the knockout competition.

"Two games, two clean sheets, two wins - I could not have asked for more," said Pantilimon after Watord beat Leeds United 1-0 in the fifth round on Saturday.

"The manager has not promised me anything and he doesn't need to speak too much with me because he knows that, if he gives me a chance, I will give my best.

"I don't expect to play every round - I am just a player doing his job but it's not secret that the FA Cup is special for me. It's the only competition in England where I don't have a winner's medal in my collection and I hope to have one in future.

"When I played in every round except the final for Manchester City in 2013, it would be fair to say it was the biggest disappointment of my career - but that is in the past and I'm just looking forward now.

"We are not here by luck - we deserve it, we have been focused in every game. I hope we can go all the way to the final without conceding a goal - I did it before and I believe we can do it again."

Gerard Laws
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Gerard Laws

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