Sunday 22 April 2018

Blue square for Reds

Paul Cox, the Mansfield Town manager, described Liverpool as one of football's greatest powers after the FA Cup third-round draw opened the way for a possible clash with the Premier League giants, writes John Percy.

Mansfield face a replay with fellow Blue Square Bet Premier club Lincoln City after forcing a 3-3 draw in Saturday's second-round clash but Cox is already dreaming of hosting Brendan Rodgers' side, along with the huge financial boost of a televised match at the One Call Stadium.

"It's an unbelievable tie for the club and the town, it's beyond all our wildest dreams," Cox said. "I know Manchester City have got all the money now but just look at Liverpool, they are one of the biggest forces in world football.

"The last thing the chairman said to me after the draw at Lincoln was that he wanted a big club in the next round – so he will be chuffed. It's the ultimate prize playing a massive Premier League club at your own ground."

There are four all-Premier League encounters, with West Ham taking on Manchester United and holders Chelsea travelling to Southampton, while QPR host West Brom .

Swansea, who embarrassed Arsenal at the weekend, have been presented with another chance to pile on the agony for Arsene Wenger with a rematch.

In a replay of the 1987 FA Cup final, Tottenham Hotspur will play League One Coventry City at White Hart Lane.

Newcastle face a potentially tricky trip to Brighton, managed by FA Cup winner Gus Poyet, and Martin O'Neill's Sunderland travel to Bolton Wanderers.

Irish Independent

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