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INTERVIEW: A noisy crowd will always give you a lift

Darren Edmondson on the 1997 FA Cup meeting with Sheffield Wednesday

5 January 2018

Academy boss Darren Edmondson was part of the United team who faced Sheffield Wednesday – then a top-ten Premier League – in FA Cup action at Brunton Park in January 1997 with the Blues having seen off Shepshed Dynamo, Darlington and Tranmere in the previous three rounds.

Strikers Guy Whittingham and Andy Booth helped the Owls to avoid what many had tagged as a potential banana skin encounter with goals either side of the break, but they were pushed all the way by Mervyn Day’s charges in what became a very good game to watch.

Speaking about the fourth round tie this week, Edmondson said: “I have to say that it was so long ago I only have a very vague recollection of it, so I must apologise for that.

“What I will say is that any big game at Brunton Park was always massive for us. There were some great FA Cup times back in those days and we had some really good players in our team.

“Wednesday was another one of those really good games, with a near capacity crowd, and in those days, we were getting some good average attendances simply because we were doing well.”

“The FA Cup is a fantastic competition anyway,” he added. “They’re always enjoyable games and one thing I do remember is running out and the noise that was made from our fans. Hopefully it will be the same this weekend and we’ll see Keith and the lads put a performance on and get us a result.

“A noisy crowd will always give you a lift and the adrenalin that comes from that is mostly what gets you through these games when you’re the underdog.

“A lot of cup upsets come from the adrenalin the lower league team gets from the stands and terraces. When the fans are behind you and singing you on it gives you an extra yard in your legs.

“There’s no sign of negativity in your thought process because you bring a totally different mentality into the game. The weekly baggage of self-doubt or lack of confidence if you’ve just had a bad result seems to disappear.

“You’re out there, the fans are cheering you on, and everybody is just up for it. They just become fantastic days and that’s why you get these giant-killings. It’s the fans who drive you on and help you to produce that little bit extra you need.”

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