Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
So, a trip to Villa Park. How seriously do you think Doncaster Rovers are taking this trip and it is a help or a hindrance to your season?
I think with the money that is on offer for Rovers getting through then I am sure the board have told the manager to put his strongest side out, a victory for us is worth almost £400,000 with live TV coverage, radio coverage and getting past round four.
We have had a lot of games recently and have a fairly small squad, luckily at the moment we haven’t had too many injuries and we are in good form which I am sure makes a huge difference to a side’s mentality.
What realistically is the ambition of Doncaster and does a FA Cup giant killing act - again - fit in with those ambitions!
I would love to beat Villa and then have the chance against Everton or Liverpool.
I have followed the club since 1976 and apart from the last few years when we have had big turn outs at Britannia Stadium for the conference play off final, Millennium stadium for the Johnstones Paints final and last seasons play off final at Wembley we have had very few days out at a top ground. We haven’t played away at a top flight clubs since 1988 so it’s going to be a great night out, I know we have already sold well over 4,000 tickets so we should make a great atmosphere.
What do you make of Villa and Martin O'Neill?
I love what Martin O’Neill is doing at Villa, I said it in my preview before the first encounter. He’s got a young squad and the vast majority are English, you play a good old fashioned style of football with two speedy wide men, you can tell that O’Neill worked under Brian Clough for a number of years.
I really hope you can stay in the top four and break up the monotony that has become the norm in the Premier League.
Do you fancy your chances? Who are your main threats in the Rovers team and why?
I like to clutch at straws and the last time Lee Mason (tomorrow’s ref) was in charge of a Villa game was earlier in the season when you lost to Championship side QPR in the Carling Cup at home so you never know.
Brian Stock is our play maker in midfield although he’s very doubtful for the game; he makes everything tick in the middle along with Richie Wellens. We will need these two to be on top of their games if we are to have a chance. Also veteran keeper Neil Sullivan is in the form of his life at the moment and I am sure he will be busy once again!
Who do you fear most in the Villa team?
It’s hard to single one out, either of your wide men, James Milner and Ashley Young are match winners on their own and surely Agbonlahor cannot miss the amount of chances he did at the Keepmoat again can he?
Go on then, let’s have your prediction!
First one will be that I will probably be freezing!!
I think we will enjoy the big stage and the playing surface at Villa Park, I think a lot will depend on who the two managers put out, normally a smaller club only get one decent chance in the Cup and we almost snatched it in the last minutes at home. My head has to rule my heart and I think we will lose 3-1 but I am sure we will give it a really good go.
Finally I am so glad that Villa will honour Paul Birch with a minutes silence, he was only with us for a short while but he was the sort of player that every fan loves, he always gave 100% for Rovers even though it was during the darkest day’s in our history.
With thanks to the Vital Doncaster Rovers Ed.
Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
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