U’s relish underdogs’ tag at Accrington Stanley

The one bright spot of last season's opening day visit to Accrington, Sammie Szmodics stabbing home

The one bright spot of last season's opening day visit to Accrington, Sammie Szmodics stabbing home a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix

Too often in the past, Colchester United have been the victim of FA Cup giant-killing acts, or failed to live up to their favourites’ tag against less-fancied opposition at the banana-skin stage of round one.

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

But for once the U’s will not be the favourites to progress past the first round, when they make the 500-mile plus round trip to Accrington Stanley.

Promoted as League Two champions last season, John Coleman’s Accrington have found life to their taste in League One, and are currently only out of the play-off zone on goal difference.

No wonder, then, that Stanley are the warm favourites to see off the U’s – they doubled the Essex club last season – on home turf at the Crown Ground.

However, the underdogs’ emblem could just work in the U’s favour this afternoon.

“Everyone wants to get through to the next round of the FA Cup,” insisted U’s boss McGreal.

“Accrington will see this as an ideal draw for them, and Accrington away is certainly not one that we would have picked, without shadow of a doubt!

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“In fact, it’s got to be one of the toughest draws in the whole draw.

“We were doubled by them last season, and they’ve done a terrific job in League One this year. They have a similar team to last season, but lost a couple of big players over the summer, to Ipswich (Kayden Jackson and Janoi Donacien), although they did recruit other players.

“A place in the next round is at stake, and there’s a lot of prize money to be won. That money could help, come later in the season, and could help come January (transfer window).

“There’s big money for us to get through – it’s double the money per round if you get through – and we have not had many cup runs of late.

“Last season we were all thinking that Oxford City at home was a great draw for us, but we ended up getting beaten.

“We will start as the underdogs, which is great for us for a change, but I don’t see this as just a free hit for us, far from it.

“It’s a nice distraction for us, and we will go up there with a plan. It will be no different to what we do in the league. We’re hoping to go up there and put in a good performance.

“It’s a chance for someone to be a hero for the day, and its dressing up to be a good match.”

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