WEMBLEY is no place for losers. Tom Huddlestone knows that better than anyone after two demoralising defeats in an FA Cup semi-final and a League Cup final.
Today, however, the Hull City midfielder has no intention of going through similar emotions as Steve Bruce’s men chase a place in history.
He said: “There is no point getting to a final if you just intend to enjoy the day and nothing else. Wembley is probably the worst place in the world to lose, and I have lost there twice.
“I lost in a semi-final to Portsmouth (in 2010), who were massive underdogs, and to Manchester United on penalties in the League Cup (the previous year).
“It is a horrible feeling and one everyone in our dressing room was experiencing at half-time in the semi-final (against Sheffield United).
“We had come so far and we were about to throw it away after 45 minutes. If we can start the final like we finished the semi, I think we have got a good shout.”
Arsenal led the Premier League for 128 days this season but a poor March saw Arsene Wenger’s men drop off the pace.
Only a five-game winning run to end the campaign ensured the Gunners’ proud run of being in the Champions League was extended to 17 seasons.
Huddlestone, a former Tottenham Hotspur player, would love to get one over the north London club.
He said: “Arsenal are massive favourites and hopefully the underdog tag can do us a massive favour. All the pressure is on them.
“We have just got to go out there, try to stifle their main strengths and find a few of their weaknesses. We know we will get a couple of chances and it is just about being clinical and having a bit of luck on the day.
“I think we can do it. The manager will come up with a game plan and if we can implement what he wants us to do we will have a decent chance of a result.”
Victory would smooth Hull’s passage into the group stages of next season’s Europa League, while defeat would mean entering the third qualifying round in July.
Huddlestone said: “No European football was mentioned as a target so it is an added extra that we will relish.”