Colchester United defender Ryan Inniss relishing the ‘people’s cup’
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United centre-half, Ryan Inniss, fondly refers to the FA Cup as the “people’s cup.”
Inniss is looking forward to tomorrow’s first round home tie against non-league strugglers Oxford City.
The 22-year-old Crystal Palace loanee is fully aware of City’s poor start to the season – the Marston-based club are second from bottom in National League South with just two wins all season – but also knows that the U’s can take nothing for granted.
Even though they have lost just one of their last seven matches, in League Two, the U’s will be on their guard tomorrow.
“We will not be taking the opposition lightly,” insisted Inniss, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.
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“It’s a very big game for Oxford City, but we want to keep out good run going – we want to go as far as we can in this competition.
“I always look on the FA Cup as the ‘People’s Cup.’ Everyone loves an underdogs story, but hopefully that will not feature us this weekend!
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“We are a very young team, and this is a chance for a few of the youngsters to go on and play a big club in future rounds.
“We have been putting in the hard work in training, and the intensity of sessions is continuing to grow.
“There aren’t any league points up for grabs this weekend, but it will be massive for us to be in the hat for the next round.
“Things have been getting better and better,” added Inniss.
The U’s rallied from a goal-down to beat Crewe 3-1 at home last Saturday, thanks to a brace from Mikael Mandron and a header by Tom Eastman.
It was the first time that John McGreal’s men had come from behind to win a league match since last December.
“It was encouraging the way we managed to turn things around,” continued Inniss.
“It was a great sign, the way we came back, after we had been lucky to get an equaliser at half-time.
“The dressing room was not quiet at half-time. No one was blaming each other, which could have been a problem. We are pulling together.
“Now we want to work the ball around and get a result this weekend. It’s 11 versus 11 on the pitch, even though Oxford are a few divisions below us.
“We will not be giving them too much respect, because I’m sure they won’t be giving us that much respect.”
Although this is currently his seventh different loan club, Inniss has not had too much experience of the FA Cup – it is easy to forget that the super-confident defender is still only 22 years of age.
“The FA Cup is always a big occasion and I was involved in it last season, for Southend at Millwall,” recalled Inniss.
“However, I got injured in that game (81 minutes) and we ended up losing 1-0 (late winner from Mahlon Romeo).
“Now I’m just enjoying being fit, and enjoying playing football. The FA Cup has always been a big day for me, even as a youngster watching matches on normal TV.
“It’s a chance to play against different opposition, and against players that you don’t come across very often. It’s a new challenge.
“We are creating lots of chances, and I think we’ve just been putting all the pieces together in recent weeks. It feels like it is all coming together.
“I remember the (3-1) win over Crawley Town in my first game (September 9). We played some phenomenal stuff in that game.
“Getting our away form sorted has been very important. We have managed to nick a few points away from home (after four straight away defeats at the start of the season), and that has given us momentum.
“But we can’t this weekend lightly, because we don’t want to be walking off that pitch wondering ‘what if.’ We don’t want that feeling.”
Inniss, who will be making his 11th U’s appearance tomorrow, is hoping for a strong start against an Oxford side who will be low of confidence after a very difficult start to the campaign.
“The longer they stay in the game, the more confident they will become, so we want the game to bed early,” said Inniss.
“We want to set a good tempo against a side who will be happy not to have the pressure of the league. It’s a big day for them, but then it’s a big day for us.
“They might be struggling in their league, but one good result might turn their season,” added Inniss, who is on loan from Palace for the whole season.
Oxford City have beaten Whitehawk, Leiston and Bognor Regis Town to reach the first round proper.