Harry Redknapp admitted FA Cup success in 10 days’ time would represent a crowning achievement on a fantastic five years in charge of Portsmouth.
Under Redknapp’s management the unfashionable south coast club have risen from the wilderness of the lower reaches of the second tier into an established Premier League club.
Redknapp recorded a healthy 13th-placed finish in Pompey’s return to the top flight in 2004 before his well-publicised falling out with then chairman Milan Mandaric.
Despite taking Southampton down in the summer of 2005 he returned to pick up the pieces of Alain Perrin’s disastrous term and ensure Pompey’s Premier League survival once more a year later.
This season they have not dropped out of the top 10 since October and sealed their first FA Cup final since 1939 with a win over West Brom last month.
The Pompey boss has also provided the Fratton faithful with the talents of David James, Sol Campbell, Jermain Defoe, Niko Kranjcar and Aiyegbeni Yakubu but insisted victory over Cardiff at Wembley would eclipse all of that.
“The last five years have been great at this club and this year has just topped everything off,” Redknapp said.
“The icing on the cake would be winning the FA Cup and that is what I am aiming for at the moment – the league is important but we have to face facts and say the cup has to be the most important game.
“It is a massive match for this club and I am really proud of the team because they have got us in this position.
“It is such a great competition and it will be my proudest moment when I lead the team out at Wembley.”
Pompey face Fulham at Fratton Park on Sunday in their final Premier League fixture with the Cottagers needing a win to guarantee their top flight survival.
Redknapp insists he will field a full-strength team despite the cup final being less than a week away as he believes Roy Hodgson’s side offer the best possible dress rehearsal for their encounter with Championship Cardiff.
“Maybe it will do us a favour playing such a hard game before the cup final,” Redknapp added.
“I am trying to focus on winning the cup but it might help us playing a team like Fulham who will really be up for the game and will give us a big test because the result is so important to them.
“It is really do or die for them at the moment and they will come at us which will be like just Cardiff will come at us at Wembley.”