This Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur travel to Rodney Parade, one of the oldest sporting venues in the Football League, to face Newport County in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The two teams last met in 1960; 58 years ago!
In the previous round of the FA Cup, Spurs came through fairly easily after beating struggling League 1 side AFC Wimbledon 3-0, at Wembley. Newport however, caused a cup upset after coming from behind to beat Championship side Leeds 2-1, scoring the winner minutes from time. It was a glorious day for County, who made it past the 3rd round for the first time since 1979.
The home side Newport come into the game in pretty good form, being unbeaten in their last 4 League games, picking up 10 points out of the 12 available. Their home form is a lot stronger, with the home side being unbeaten in all competitions at home since November. Their opponents Tottenham Hotspur, are also in good form, being unbeaten in their last six League games, collecting 14 points out of 18 availble to them. However, it seems the away side may rest a few key players ahead of Saturday’s game with a big league game in mid-week against Manchester United, with both sides battling for a vital Champions League place. But, this is something the fans hope won’t affect their cup performance, with the club desperate to win a trophy.
League two side Newport have previously only faced Tottenham Hotspur four times in the clubs history, with Spurs winning all 4. The last time the two teams met was in 1960, in the FA Cup, where Spurs comfortably won 4-0. It seems like it will be a tough ask for Newport to get a result at the weekend as the Lilywhites have also scored 3 or more goals in every game they have faced Newport County, but with the magic of the FA Cup, nothing is impossible.
Newport County manager Mike Flynn, who was born in Newport, believes this FA Cup draw is a big reward for everyone involved at the club.
“It means everything, it’s a reward for the players for all their hard work that they’ve given me and for the football club for everything they’ve put up with and gone through. And it’s a reward for the fans for chipping in and saving the club and everybody who’s put their time and effort in to Newport County over the years; it’s a big thank you from me to them.”
Flynn also believes it is a chance to get a generation of fans back after the decline the club went through when they went out of business.
“I think that we could get a generation of fans back now. I think we lost them when we went out of business, and now it’s really captured the imagination of not just the football club, but the whole city.”
Finally, Ex-Newport Player and Current Manager Mike Flynn expressed the confidence he and his team has going into Saturday’s game believing they could cause an other cup upset and with the temporarily increased stadium capacity may help give the home side a further boost.
“We’ve got to believe we can go and cause an upset. I’m hoping that the atmosphere, the surroundings help us as well, you’ve got to factor all this in. I fancy our chances a lot more at home than I would have at Wembley.”
“It is intimidating to go to Rodney Parade. It’s an old-fashioned stadium. It is quite a small changing room the away one. it will be a bit of a leveller. I’ll tell them to go and enjoy it.”
Saturday’s FA Cup clash is definitely one to play for with Newport County unbeaten in 2018, will they be able to pull off the biggest shock of the FA Cup so far? It’s going be a very big ask but it’s Tottenham’s to lose…
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