SWANSEA CITY recorded their biggest FA Cup win as Notts County were demolished 8-1 at the Liberty Stadium - ensuring manager Carlos Carvalhal will face former club Sheffield Wednesday in the next round.
It all means a speedy return to Hillsborough for the Swans’ head coach, who took over in South Wales four days after leaving Wednesday on Christmas Eve by mutual consent.
First-half braces from Tammy Abraham and Nathan Dyer, as well as second-half efforts from Kyle Naughton, Wayne Routledge, Tom Carroll and debutant Daniel James, saw Swansea ease through.
Noor Husin gave Notts County brief hope, making it 3-1 after 35 minutes, but the League Two promotion contenders were blown away on a freezing night in South Wales.
It also gave the visitors an unwanted spot in Swansea history, the margin of defeat bigger than the 7-2 and 6-1 FA Cup scorelines inflicted on Folkestone and Rhyl respectively.
Carvalhal had called for Abraham to show a marked improvement after going 14 games without scoring, and the England striker duly responded with his first goals for nearly four months.
Two-goal hero Dyer, reflecting on a visit to face the Owls, said: “It’s the boss’s old stomping ground so we definitely want to go out there and make an impression.”
Dyer added: “It was great. The manager said he wanted us to start quickly, especially after the draw in the first leg, and we managed to do that.
“We showed that people can score from all over the pitch. We’ve been working hard on the training ground, not just the strikers and the attacking players getting forward, and the manager wanted everyone to press forward on the attacks and the scoreline was nice. Overall we put in a good performance.”
Rochdale booked their place in the fifth round with a 1-0 win against Championship side Millwall at the Crown Oil Arena.
Neil Harris’s side never got going in a fourth-round replay played on a difficult, sandy surface.
Ian Henderson netted the game’s only goal eight minutes into the second half to set up a fifth-round clash with either Tottenham Hotspur or Newport County. Calvin Andrew bustled his way past Shaun Hutchinson on the left of the penalty area and teed up Henderson to slot wide of goalkeeper David Martin from six yards.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will rotate his team when Newport visit Wembley for their FA Cup fourth-round replay tonight, but insists he will take the game just as seriously as Saturday’s upcoming North London derby.
Newport more than held their own in the initial tie at Rodney Parade as a strong Tottenham side relied on a late Harry Kane equaliser to secure a replay against the League Two outfit.
The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele started alongside Kane in south Wales, while Son Heung-min and Dele Alli came off the bench.
But, after an enthralling 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Sunday and with an early kick-off against neighbours Arsenal this coming weekend, Pochettino admits he will make changes.
“We are going to rotate the starting XI, for sure,” he said.
“I cannot tell now, like always, but of course we need to rotate, we need to use players that don’t play too much. We are having a very busy period, and we need everyone fit and available to play.”
Despite making alterations, Pochettino has challenged those who play to earn themselves a spot in his Premier League side, although deadline-day signing Lucas Moura is unavailable as he was not registered for the original tie.
Pochettino said: “When you have a squad like we have, it will be very good for some players to show their quality, and it is a great opportunity for them to show that they can fight for a place in the Premier starting XI.”