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INTERVIEW: We'll give it a good go

30 January 2016

Midfielder Antony Sweeney on writing his own FA Cup story

We caught up with midfielder Antony Sweeney on the eve of the Everton FA Cup game.

"We'll manage the next 24 hours as we normally would," he told us. "We're staying over here before the game so we'll get a coffee and a bite to eat, or something like that, and I'm sure the time will fly by.

"I wouldn't say there's added nerves because I think it's more excitement than anything else. They don't often come around, these games, and we've been lucky to get two big games in the same season.

"When we played Liverpool it was massive. I'm a Liverpool fan so to play at Anfield was unbelievable."

"Obviously this is a home game and our fans are turning up in their numbers," he continued. "We'll give it a good go and see where we are. To sell the ground out is magnificent for a League Two club and it just shows if we can get on a little run then the fans will come and support us. 

"We want to get the league gates up as well, but that will start by putting on a good performance against Everton. It just shows if you can get through the early rounds of the cups the rewards are there. I'm sure the owners and everyone at the club are happy with the money that comes with it as well.

"I think it helps psychologically more than anything else that we did what we did at Anfield," he commented. "It's 11 v 11, obviously they will be 11 very good players, and if they play to Premier League standards it will be a difficult game for us. If they don't and we pick our game up which, often happens in cup games, who knows what could happen? 

"The preparation has been the same, we've worked on set pieces as we normally would in training, but it just so happens we'll be playing against a Premier League team and not a League Two team."

On his own achievement of scoring in every round so far, he said: "Yeah, but that's with me claiming that goal at Welling. I've definitely scored better goals in my career but the ball just seems to come to me in the right areas in the FA Cup games. I'd like a few more in the league but if another one comes tomorrow I'll more than take it!

"The game is a little bit of a free swing for us in terms of where it sits. Apart from the dressing room and a couple of optimistic fans, I'm not sure there will be many people giving us much of a chance. 

"We know what we've got in there and, as I say, we went to a difficult place in Anfield and put up a good show. There's no reason why we can't do it at home. Our main focus is the league but, come tomorrow, our focus will be on trying to get a result."

On whether or not having had experience in big game arenas like this will help, he said: "Experience can be important but sometimes young lads will go out with no fear, simply because they haven't been on the end of a bad result against a big team. 

"Younger players can sometimes go out and play with total freedom and hopefully that's the case tomorrow. Their squad is decorated with multi-million pound players so whoever they pick it will be a tough game. 

"The likes of Barkley and Lukaku are the names that everyone knows. One is a future England star and one has gone for 20 odd million, so it will be good to test ourselves against players like them. 

"We'll go out there and give our best, we'll make sure we're difficult to play against and we'll compete. Hopefully that will see us through."

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