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Iwelumo can take chance this time in cup

HE may be best known for his gaping look of wild-eyed disbelief as Scotland's World Cup qualifying chances flew agonisingly past the post, but Chris Iwelumo is hoping to make it up to a small swathe of the Tartan Army - those based in Perth - by firing St Johnstone into the quarter-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Chris Iwelumo
Chris Iwelumo

The striker was not at fault for his new side's exit from the League Cup, of course, coming on as he did with the team already two goals down and as good as beaten against Aberdeen last week, but it was hardly a dream debut, either. At least he has not had long to wait to make amends.

"We've got to try and bounce back, get the last few days out of the system and look forward," Iwelumo said. "I came on in the second half and tried to keep the ball up, win my flick-ons and hopefully a chance drops to you.

"But unfortunately it wasn't the case on Saturday. Obviously everyone was disappointed after the match because the boys have been on fire and have been doing really well.

"So we've got to make sure we don't lose track and keep doing the same things and the right things and keep moving forward. It's not all going to be positives and sunny days is it?"

Iwelumo is no stranger to cup competition, and he certainly has a fair few more glamorous tales to tell than the one which today's windy affair will eventually become.

He reminisces about playing Chelsea in the FA Cup, coming up against - and repeatedly bouncing off, apparently - Ricardo Carvalho and the blond man-mountain Robert Huth.

"I'm sure Forfar will be a bit different . . ." he said, understating the case. "I've had a few decent cup runs down south. When I was with Colchester we got Chelsea in the fifth round, so that's probably the furthest I've been. I was up against Carvalho and Huth and they are two very, very hard players. I remember I smashed Carvalho that day but he didn't even acknowledge it - I got him a peach as well. He just stood up, brushed himself off and never even looked in my direction, so that's when I thought: 'Oh, we're in a game here!'.

"They are just different breeds down there at Chelsea."

There will be no defenders quite so unyielding tomorrow, but Iwelumo knows there is plenty of incentive for the hosts to pull off an upset.

Finally, since talk of travelling for a match to Forfar is not complete without a wee natter about the merits - or not - of the artificial pitch, Iwelumo disappointed by revealing he was not really the person to ask.

"Until this week I'd never even trained on astroturf," he said.

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