U’s will match Supermarine spirit, vows Ward

SWINDON Supermarine players will be aiming to show some of the fighting spirit associated with the Second World War aircrafts their club is named after today as they attempt to cause a major FA Cup upset.

The non-league side – so-called because their Wiltshire ground is based yards from where the iconic Supermarine Spitfires were produced – are the lowest ranked side left in the FA Cup, with almost 100 places separating them from their League One hosts.

However, Colchester United boss John Ward knows all too well the dangers of knock-out football and has got his side equally fired up for the occasion.

He said: “The FA Cup is brilliant, I love it, love it to pieces. On any given day one team can beat another, regardless of what league they play in. If we played them 10 times we’d probably win most of them, but on a one-off it could go either way. They could have one shot and win it 1-0 – I’ve seen it happen to bigger clubs than us.

“That’s the beauty of football though, you turn up to every game not quite knowing what’s going to happen.”

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The 59-year-old, who dreams of facing Manchester United in the next round, continued: “There is absolutely no danger of us taking anything for granted. We’ve watched them on a number of occassions, I’ve got profiles on all of their players and we are fully prepared.

“They have got some Football League experience in their side, they’ve got some comfort on the ball and I am sure there will be times when they keep the ball and our fans will start to wonder why we can’t get it off them.

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“If it’s still 0-0 at twenty minutes past three my players are going to have to be strong mentally.

“They (Supermarine) are a close knit group of players from the West Country who are good friends, but I can assure them they are coming to play a close knit group of players here.”

Colchester will be without defender Magnus Okuonghae today who is facing a spell on the sidelines as specialists try to get to the bottom of his recurring ankle injury. Meanwhile, captain Kemi Izzet returns following a one-match suspension.

– For full match preview, including captain Kemi Izzet’s thoughts on the game and Supermarine’s ironic link with Essex, see today’s EADT. For live match updates follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.

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