Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola believes the Blues must stay focused if they are to avoid a potential FA Cup banana skin against Ipswich.
The Tractor Boys come to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with the sacking of Roy Keane still fresh on the agenda, but Zola believes the Blues should not look too far ahead if they are to progress past the third round.
With recent results going against Carlo Ancelotti, the fixture provides Chelsea with an opportunity to secure a morale boosting victory. Lower division opposition can provide its own pitfalls though, and the former AC Milan boss will have to guard against complacency.
“Chelsea are the favourites here, but they will have to play well to beat this Ipswich side,” Zola told Givemefootball.
“You have to stay focused and play games until the end in the FA Cup, because surprises are always around the corner.”
The Italian idol won the competition twice during his time with Chelsea, with the victories in 1997 and 2000 among a number of career highlights for the legendary No.25.
The FA Cup can often fall down the priority list for the bigger teams, particularly those with Champions League challenges in their sights.
However, Zola believes this prestigious competition should always be high on a club’s agenda, and with pressure mounting on the manager it provides Chelsea with a chance to make a statement.
“The FA Cup has to be taken seriously all the time because it’s a wonderful and important competition. There is nothing else like it in club football.”