Evan Ferguson believes Brighton and Hove Albion can go on and book a place in Europe after thumping Grimsby Town 5-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
Wembley awaits the Seagulls, who were handed a shot at Manchester United or Fulham next. United and Fulham contested the last of the quarter-finals on Sunday, after the draw was made.
Manchester City will face Sheffield United in the other last-four clash over the weekend of April 22-23.
Brighton could earn a place in next season’s European competitions through the Premier League or by winning the FA Cup.
They sit seventh in the league, level on points with sixth-placed Liverpool and with a game in hand on the Reds.
“I think we’ve got the hope and the desire to go on and get to Europe,” Ferguson said, after hitting two goals against League Two battlers Grimsby.
“That’s our ambition, and if we keep going and keep on winning games we could get there.”
Grimsby stunned Southampton in the fifth round but could not overturn another Premier League team, with Brighton outclassing their visitors and earning their Wembley trip.
Deniz Undav, Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March also scored to see off the Mariners.
7 – Evan Ferguson has scored seven goals for Brighton this season, and is now the top-scoring teenager for a Premier League club across all competitions in 2022-23. Focal. pic.twitter.com/LWNG89DYxB
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 19, 2023
Ferguson told BBC One: “It’s what we were looking for at the start. We obviously wanted to go to Wembley, so we have to get to the semi-finals. Today it wasn’t an easy game because teams like that, when they sit off, you have to try to break them down, but it’s a good result.”
His first goal, Brighton’s second of the game, showed the 18-year-old Irish striker at his best, as he pulled down a pass with an expert touch and fired into the bottom-right corner.
“It was good. I think it was more an instinct,” Ferguson said. “It just came to me and I tried to swivel around and tried to get the best shot off, and luckily it went in.”
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