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PRE MATCH INTERVIEW | "I just felt that the Racecourse deserves a special FA Cup game, and we’ve got it"

Read the manager's thoughts ahead of tomorrow's cup tie

28 January 2023

Nothing to lose and everything to gain is the message from Phil Parkinson, as his side have been preparing for tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round clash against Sheffield United.

It’s the first time the Red Dragons have appeared at this stage in 23 years, the last coming in 2000 against Cambridge United.

Since then, the Club has been to the Third Round on four occasions; including a penalty shootout defeat against Brighton, a trip to Stoke City, and most recently the dramatic victory against Coventry City.

That thriller at the Coventry Building Society Stadium brought about one of the Club’s finest days in recent memory, and for Parkinson, the mentality is still the same as it was then.

He said: “It was great to go to Coventry with nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s the same again this weekend with Sheffield United.

“The FA Cup is a bonus for us, it’s a welcome distraction like I’ve said before and we go into it with nothing to lose.

“We want to represent ourselves well on the day, and that’s exactly what we spoke to the players about before Coventry.

“We want to put in a performance in the same manner as we do in the National League each week and as long as we do that, I’ll be happy.

The Club goes into the contest on the back of two away victories with an Aaron Hayden last-gasp winner proving vital at Maidstone, and Tom O’Connor, Ollie Palmer, and Paul Mullin sealing victory in the North-East.

Hayden’s winning goal at the Gallagher Stadium was his 11th of the campaign, whilst Mullin made it number 27 in all competitions at the Gateshead International Stadium.

The third and final goal on Tuesday night was also the 70th league goal of the season, and Parkinson said it’s crucial to have goals in different areas of the team.

He said: “Maidstone and Gateshead away were two potentially tricky games for different types of reasons, but we got the two wins and we come into the match with high spirits.

“We were in control at 2-0 but we let our standards slip and it went to 2-2. There was a fantastic response, which was an important win for us.

“Aaron has 11 goals for us this season, he scored regularly last season and he’s a real threat.

“Look at Gateshead, Tom O’Connor got the first goal and opened the game up.

“Everyone has got to chip in and it’s important in any team that’s ultimately successful.”

The Third Round blockbuster at Coventry capped off an excellent run to date. It was one of two away fixtures so far, with the other in our Fourth Qualifying Round tie at Blyth Spartans.

Tom O’Connor put the Red Dragons ahead 10 minutes from time, but the Spartans fought back and earned a replay at the Racecourse Ground, with a valiant display.

Back at the Racecourse this time around, Parkinson hailed the Wrexham faithful and paid tribute to the unwavering support they have received this so far this season.

He said: “We wanted a home tie because I just felt that the Racecourse deserves a special FA Cup game, and we’ve got it.

“It’s going to be a cracking atmosphere, this place [The Racecourse Ground] is full for league games each week, but the FA Cup adds something extra special to it.

“To be live on the BBC is great, we were the first game on Match of the Day after we beat Coventry and these are iconic things for us to be part of.

“We’ve had history in the FA Cup before and it’s great for us to represent the club in the right way so far in this competition.”




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