Skipper speaks to Scott Williams
So you play Coventry in the second round of the FA Cup, what do you make of the draw?
Coventry are in a false position, they’re a Championship club in League 1. They’re a massive club with a massive stadium and a big fan base. So it will be good to go there, I’ve never played there. It’s a good draw for us. Hopefully they will get a decent crowd there and a bit of money for the club.
One thing your manager spoke about after the first round win over Rochdale was how the pressure will be off Morecambe for the Coventry game. Is that how you see it?
Yeah definitely, they’re a bigger club than Morecambe with better finances and they’re in a higher division. So the pressure will be on them, their fans will put them under pressure to be winning the game comfortably. Obviously we don’t see it like that. We’re going there to win. Like the gaffer says, we’re the underdogs going into it and we’ve got nothing to lose, so it’s a pressure free game for us.
You said that you’re going there to win, but a draw at the Ricoh would obviously take the tie to a replay back at the Globe Arena. Does that mean you might set out not to lose the game, rather than to actually win it?
No not at all, we go into every game trying to win. I think if you go into a game to set your stall out to protect a 0-0 then one set-play can undo you and you lose the game 1-0 without really having a go and that’s not the way that we go about it, and that’s not the way the gaffer goes about it. We’ll be going there with all intentions on trying to win the game and if it ends up a draw then so be it.
Do you think a good cup run could help your league form by breeding a winning mentality amongst the club or is it just an unwelcome distraction?
No, it’s not an unwelcome distraction. It’s a good distraction because there’s no pressure on you. You go out there and you can play football and do your job, and at the end of the 90 minutes you’ve either won or lost, or you’ve drawn and you’ve got a replay. There’s no three points at stake, or a must-win game, or if you lose this you’re in the relegation zone, or if you win this you’re in the playoffs, it’s a welcome distraction. And the longer you stay in the cup the more finances you get for the football club.
You mentioned the finances there and one more thing that Jim Bentley spoke about after the first round win was the finances and the benefit to the club of a good cup run. But what does the FA Cup actually mean to the players themselves?
It means a great deal. I scored my first ever competitive goal in the FA Cup. It’s the oldest cup competition in the world and so everybody obviously wants to do well in it. And like you say, for each round that you progress it brings in that extra bit of revenue that’s very important to a club like Morecambe.
And finally, I know you’re going to say take every game as it comes, but if you were to upset the odds and beat Coventry, are there any clubs you personally would like to face in the third round or any grounds you would like to visit perhaps?
If we’re lucky enough to get through the Coventry game then ideally you would want a Premier League club at one of their grounds. Purely for the fact of going to test yourself against the best and they’re going to have a larger crowd than we have at the Globe Arena so it comes down to finances as well. With living in Manchester, I’d go for one of the Manchester clubs, preferably United.