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FC United are fighting fit for FA Cup showdown

As FC United prepare for the biggest game in our short history, assistant-manager Roy Soule was happy to report that, bar an unfortunate injury to left-back Lee Neville, the Reds are ready and raring to go for the trip to Rochdale.

Neville is facing a four to six week lay-off after suffering a stress fracture of the foot against Colwyn Bay on Saturday but the good news is FC United are ’fighting fit’ according to Soule with defenders Karl Munroe and Martin Parker, as well as strikers Ben Deegan and Glynn Hurst, have shaken off knocks and are champing at the bit to take on their League One opponents.

Only long term absentees Steve Torpey and Ludovic Quistin, along with Neville, will be unavailable as FC United attempt to create a bit of FA Cup sponsored by E.ON giant killing history by claiming the scalp of The Dale, a side which sits 80 places and four divisions higher.

The Reds have never faced a more highly ranked team in a competitive match but the message from manager Karl Marginson and his assistant Soule to their players is clear – ‘show no fear and enjoy yourself’.

Margy said: “This is the sort of match we have been looking forward to since the club was formed and finally we’ve made it to the first round proper. Games like this, in the best cup competition in the world, are why you play football and why you get involved in the game. So it is something to savour and enjoy, not something to worry about.”

Margy and Soule know that United are huge underdogs but they are also aware that the status can have a positive effect. Margy added: “We need to have an outstanding day and they have to have an off day if we are going to get anything from the match but that can happen."

And Soule agrees that the four division gap can be overcome. He said: “You never know how far that gap is until you actually try to jump it. So we’ll attempt to cross that gap when we come to it on Friday.

“We know that Rochdale are a League One side so there is very little chance of underestimating them. We will show them the respect they deserve but not too much respect. We’re confident in our own abilities and we’ll go out there to play football and let Rochdale know they are in a game. It’s all you can ask for and it worked against Barrow.”

United could barely be in better form going into the match with six wins out of the last six and Margy believes that harmony in the dress rooming has been integral to success on the pitch. He said: "This bunch of lads is fantastic and it’s pleasure for me and Roy to work with them.

“We couldn’t ask for better really and that’s why I know they have the character to cope with everything that is thrown at them on Friday. They have shown togetherness with the FA Cup bonus scheme by asking that all members of the squad benefit, not just those that play on the day. That says it all to me."

And as ever, Margy was keen to stress another reason for the success. He said: "Our supporters will be there in force and maybe it will unnerve the home side slightly, we can only hope.

“It will be a big factor having that backing and it cannot be underestimated. This club has come a long way in five years and Friday is our biggest occasion so far. We’ve a lot to be proud of. Let’s take the opportunity to let people know what this club is about, both on and off the pitch. The fans are the best advertisement we have, so do your bit and I promise you the players will be doing theirs."

In case you’ve been on the moon for the last two weeks; Rochdale versus FC United of Manchester in the first round proper of the FA Cup is this Friday at Spotland with kick-off at 7.45pm. Get yourself to that football ground.

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First Posted ~ 15:53 Thu 4 Nov 2010
News ID ~ 3203
Last Updated ~ 15:53 Thu 4 Nov 2010