Colchester United v Oxford City: ‘Anything can happen in the FA Cup’ – John McGreal

Colchester United boss, John McGreal. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Colchester United boss, John McGreal. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, admits that “anything can happen in the FA Cup” ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s FA Cup first round home tie against National League South strugglers Oxford City.

McGreal has been delighted with his side’s resurgence in League Two, which has seen them rise from 21st to 13th in the table on the back of a 14-point haul from a possible 21 in their last seven league fixtures.

But now all attention switches to the FA Cup, and avoiding a potential first round embarrassment at the hands of an Oxford side who have not won in their league since August.

“We have to have the right mentality on the day,” admitted McGreal. “We have hit some form in the league, and the FA Cup is a lovely abstraction. They are always tough games, against non-league opposition, because anything can happen in the FA Cup.

“I’m sure that Oxford will have done their prep and will want to do a number on us, and claim a good scalp.

“League standings count for nothing in the FA Cup, as Lincoln City proved last year when they beat Ipswich and Brighton, and won away at Burnley, before losing to Arsenal.

“Lincoln showed what can be done. It all comes down to what happens on the day.

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“Oxford will have worked ever so hard to have got into this position, and we’ll have to make sure that they don’t use this as a springboard for the rest of their season.

“It’s nice for us to be at home. There was a good deal of noise created during the second half against Crewe (3-1 win last weekend), and we need the fans to help us out again.”

Oxford City reached the first round proper by beating Whitehawk (3-1 away), Leiston (4-2 at home) and Bognor Regis (1-0 at home) in the qualifying rounds.

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