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Powell eyes Wembley appearance

Chris Powell is determined to achieve as a manager something he never did as a player by walking out at Wembley.

The Charlton manager's playing career took in five England caps and a play-off final with West Ham, but they came at the time the national stadium was being rebuilt.

But the Addicks head to Sheffield United on Sunday knowing they are just 90 minutes away from a trip to Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final.

"I missed out as a player against Bolton and Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals," revealed Powell.

"And sadly for me when I played for England and then in a play-off final for West Ham the games weren't at Wembley so I haven't been in that capacity.

"So I'd love it to be with Charlton, albeit in a semi-final which isn't great. I'm sure everyone would prefer it just to be the final but why not take the opportunity to take your team there?"

Should Charlton make it past the League 1 Blades they could face a repeat of their famous Wembley meeting with Sunderland, who they beat 7-6 on penalties following an epic 4-4 draw in the 1998 play-off final.

It will also throw up the prospect of young midfielder Diego Poyet facing his famous dad and Black Cats boss Gus.

"What a story that would be with regard to Diego and his father," added Powell.

"And also memories of 98 would be something. I'm sure Sheffield are thinking the same but we can only approach it in the way we can and I will make sure my players do themselves justice."

Yet a trip to Wembley seemed a million miles away when Charlton found themselves 2-0 down at half-time at home to League 2 Oxford in the third round.

"That was a painful first 45 minutes," admitted Powell.

"I let the players know that and they responded in the right way and got themselves out of it.

"Then the replay at Oxford was very professional, a 3-0 win, and showed me they are ready to fight in adversity which is the majority of the season in our league campaign.

"Now the players can sense it, that the way they came back against Oxford is paying off. All the interest, being live on TV, it's definitely been worth it and we want it to continue.

"It will be a very tough game, make no bones about. Sheffield United are a side who have done particularly well in the cup and fair play to Nigel Clough and his team - but they'll know they are in for a hard game as well."