Shane Ferguson has spoken of his delight after scoring a spectacular brace in the final minutes to eliminate Hull City from the Emirates FA Cup at The Den.
The Northern Ireland international levelled the game for Millwall on 82 minutes with a neat curling strike after exchanging a short corner with Jed Wallace, cancelling out Jon Toral’s opener for visitors Hull. Just three minutes later, Ferguson whipped home an inch-perfect free-kick to hand The Lions a place in the hat for Monday night’s Fourth Round draw.
“I was delighted with the goals,” the wide man smiles.
“It doesn’t happen very often! We usually put the set-pieces into the box, but Jed came short [for the first goal] and we just played from there. The manager encouraged us to play off the cuff, and thankfully it opened up for me and went in.
“The first half wasn’t good enough, and there were obviously a few words said at half-time. We came out in the second half much better, and having Willo [Shaun Williams] and Steve [Morison] come on with their experience helped us a lot.”
Ferguson claims there is a great deal of importance around the competition – as it can allow he and his teammates to face the country’s top players – and highlights what a fourth straight win does for the squad’s confidence.
“The FA Cup is massive for us, because we love to try and get on those runs, play in the biggest stadiums and test ourselves against the best players.
“We were obviously delighted after the game, but it’s very important to carry on our confidence – that was the main message before we went out there.”
The 27-year-old’s impact from the bench on Sunday follows his purple patch in the League, starting 14 of The Lions’ last 16 Sky Bet Championship games with several impressive displays after working his way into the starting side.
“I’m really pleased at the moment. It was tough last year getting injured, but I worked hard in pre-season and I’m thankful to the manager for giving me the opportunity to come in and try to affect the team as much as I can.
“Obviously, results weren’t the best at the start of the season and the manager was trying something new. I knew what it was like not to be playing, and then I got the chance and I didn’t want to lose my place again, so I’ve been working hard to try and stay in the team.”
Ferguson is open with his preferred opponent for Neil Harris’ side in the next round, although has admitted a tie with former employers Newcastle United “would be nice.”
“I’m sure a lot of people will probably want West Ham, to be honest! I’m looking forward to watching it – it’s always exciting when your team gets pulled out of the hat. We’ll just see what happens.
“[Newcastle] would be nice, but they have to get through their replay first.”