Fulham boss Chris Coleman welcomes Tottenham at Craven Cottage £2,500 worse off than the last time his team took on Spurs.
But defeat at the hands of the boys from White Hart Lane on Sunday could be even more costly for the big Welshman and his club, who would then have only a familiar middle-of-the-table scrap to sustain them for the rest of the season.
Coleman was hit in the pocket by the Football Association this week for showing “aggressive behaviour” to a match official, after referee Mike Dean allowed a controversial late Spurs equaliser to stand in the 1-1 draw last month.
He did not defend the charge – a version of which is now also facing Portsmouth’s Harry Redknapp over a rant against Dean following the shocking challenge by Manchester City’s Joey Barton on Pedro Mendes last weekend.
But the punishment and a warning as to his future conduct will not stop Coleman sending his team out this time with just as much intent.
The big problem, though, is this cup tie will be officiated by Lancashire official Mark Halsey – undeniably, one of Coleman’s least favourite referees.
The outspoken manager has stopped short this week of asking whether Halsey – who has figured in a couple of contentious penalty incidents against Fulham in clashes with Arsenal and Chelsea – could be replaced for the match.
“He is a pretty good ref – usually,” Coleman concedes.
He is adamant, however, that less established Premiership clubs like Fulham only rarely get the tight decisions in their favour when playing bigger-name rivals.
“I’m told there are statistics to prove that – and I am not surprised,” he said.
“It is something that clubs like us are always battling against, and the referees need help from video technology.”