Whittingham's Wembley dream

Star desperate to avoid heartache

Peter Whittingham: Aiming for better luck at Wembley this time around

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Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham believes the club can "put things right" in Sunday's Carling Cup final against Liverpool.

The 27-year-old has already suffered Wembley heartache twice before with the Bluebirds.

Whittingham tasted the disappointment of an FA Cup final defeat by Portsmouth in 2008 and then the sheer agony of missing out on promotion to Blackpool in the 2010 Championship play-off final.

And the former Aston Villa man is determined to make it third time lucky as Malky Mackay's side seek to upset the odds against the Merseyside giants at the weekend.

"Going to Wembley has not been too nice to us," Whittingham said. "Obviously we lost to Blackpool in the play-off final so this is a good time to put things right and it's something we think we can do.

"That defeat was absolutely devastating, especially seeing Blackpool playing in the Premier League. That was horrible.

"It was the last game of the season and it was all you could think about for the next two months and it's something we want to put right.

Pride

"After all the hype it is good that the game is coming up and we want to do ourselves proud.

"It's a one-off game, league form goes out the window, it's a welcome distraction and we go to Wembley with not so much pressure on us to try and do well."

Whittingham admits that defeat by the Seasiders and last season's play-off semi-final reverse to Reading could have seen him walk away from the Welsh club.

But the free-kick specialist was persuaded to stay after a chat with new boss Mackay.

Whittingham added: "Last summer was difficult. Seeing Michael Chopra, Jay Bothroyd, Chris Burke and Craig Bellamy leave. But I spoke to the gaffer and he made the promise we would go for promotion again and we have.

"There were a couple of offers kicking about but once I spoke to the manager I wanted to stay."

Midfield battle

Whittingham could even lead Cardiff out at Wembley if Mark Hudson fails a late fitness test and he is relishing the prospect of facing up to the likes of Steven Gerrard in the midfield battle.

"I have always enjoyed playing against really good players and hopefully I can step up to the plate," he said. "But they have so many good players you can't really focus on individuals.

"We have to ride our luck, they will have chances but when we have ours we have to take them.

"Kenny (Miller) has scored some important goals and it would not surprise anyone if he scored on Sunday.

"We can't be in awe of the occasion, Liverpool are a massive club and have some great players but we have confidence in ourselves."

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