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JOSE MOURINHO last night called for a radical revamp of the FA Cup to increase the chances of upsets for the Premiership big guns.

As Manchester United began to plot a route to the OTHER St James Park - at Exeter - for their shock third round replay, the Chelsea boss said that such trips should become compulsory.

Mourinho, whose side navigated a tricky tie with Brian Laws' Scunthorpe at Stamford Bridge, said: 'When it comes to the Cup the Premiership sides should always play at the stadium of the lower division side if they're drawn against one.

'If we'd played our game at Scunthorpe, I can imagine we might have lost it.

'I can understand that maybe it was a great feeling for them to come to Chelsea and play in front of 40,000, especially as their fans made the atmosphere magnificent.

'I guess it was the same for Exeter when they went to Old Trafford. That would have been a big day out for them.

'But I think we should all have to play away. It would give the smaller sides a bigger opportunity of winning and give the fans the chance to see Premiership football players which they normally don't.'

Mourinho, who rested John Terry, Claude Makelele and Damien Duff, left Arjen Robben on the bench and gave first starts to youngsters Steven Watt and Nuno Morais, added that his idea would have prevented him from shuffling his pack in that fashion.

Saturday's game was the Portuguese manager's first taste of the world's oldest knock-out competition but he believes his blueprint will make it better.

Mourinho added: 'I can see what the FA Cup means now and I think it's fantastic.

'The good thing was that Scunthorpe came to Chelsea with a dream of winning, not just to look around the stadium and try not to lose too heavily.

'I've never been to Scunthorpe, although I'd guess their stadium is quite small, but to have a team like Chelsea up there would be a big thing for them.

'If we'd had to play at Scunthorpe I couldn't have afforded to play the team I did at home. I'd have been pushed to play a better team because I'd be afraid of losing. I have respect for these guys.'

Mourinho's idea is unlikely to be taken on board by the FA, although Soho Square spokesman Adrian Bevington welcomed the 'positive thinking' behind it.

Bevington added: 'We see that part of the magic of the Cup is that the ties are played out exactly as they are drawn.

'That's one of the reasons we have stopped teams switching grounds to play in the Premiership stadia. We only allow changes at all on safety matters and we felt it was right to tighten that up.

'We've moved the draw back to Monday lunchtime for that reason as well, because it was part of the tradition of the competition.

Mourinho is not the only manager who wants change. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has called for replays to be abolished.

But Newcastle manager Graeme Souness, relieved to see his side negotiate a potential giant-killing against Yeading, urged that there be no more tinkering.

He said: 'Our game showed what the FA Cup is all about and why it will always be the No.1 knock-out competition.'

JOSE'S WAY.. THE PROS & CONS

FOR:

Big clubs more likely to play 'big' players

Give stars a taste of the 'other' side of life

Lower League fans will see Premiership stars

Bigger chance of upsets

More attractive to TV

AGAINST:

Messing with tradition

Lower clubs need the Premiership gate revenue

Fewer fans will be able to see the match

No days out at a Premiership ground

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What's your opinion Mourinho's "blueprint"?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
zack_manutd said:
I hope replays are abolished too. Can't believe I agree with a blind man :yuck:
I wonder if you'd be saying that had Exeter gone through on penalties :D
 
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