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ALI AL HABSI ON MK DONS DRAW

PUBLISHED

09:00 6th January 2014

by Nick Taylor

Ali Al Habsi says Latics are frustrated with draw and must remain determined to go through.

An FA Cup fourth round tie with Crystal Palace is on offer for Wigan Athletic if they can progress from a third round replay at MK Dons following Saturday’s 3-3 draw at the DW Stadium.

Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi said Latics are frustrated after holding the lead twice in the match, but remains in a confident mood that they can do the business in the replay.

“As a team we’re very frustrated that we couldn’t win and we know it isn’t going to be an easy away game,” said the Oman international.

“The important thing is that we didn’t lose and we’re still in the competition, but we must do the job right when we travel for the replay to make sure we get through.

“Everything remains in our hands and if we can perform like we did in the previous games then I believe we can go through.”

Goals from Roger Espinoza and Jordi Gomez had Latics 2-0 up inside 26 minutes, but conceding two goals before half time to be pegged back by MK Dons was a blow added Al Habsi:

“We started the game well, but conceding two goals so close to half time really cost us the win and getting through to the fourth round.

“We came up against a very determined team in MK Dons who pushed us.

“They wanted to create something special against us and they did that by putting in the maximum effort.”

On the hour mark Al Habsi saved a penalty from Dons midfielder Shaun Williams, who had scored seven from seven spot kicks so far this season.

The 32-year-old’s stop ensured the score remained 2-2 and on his save Al Habsi said:

“I’m happy with the penalty save because it helped the team and prevented us from falling 3-2 behind.

“Every save is important, but the penalty proved even more significant because Callum (McManaman) scored just a few minutes later.

“I’ve have a good record from penalties, in the five games that I’ve been back from injury this season I’ve faced two penalties and not conceded, so on a personal level I’m happy with that.”

Looking back on last year’s third round tie against AFC Bournemouth, Al Habsi finished with a reminder of how it panned out.

“We have to remember that we had a similar situation to this last year in the FA Cup against Bournemouth.

“It was a struggle in the home game, but we travelled away and made sure that we progressed and that will be our aim once again.”

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