‘No disrespect to Leeds’: Sutton United boss believes home pitch could give them the edge in FA Cup

Paul Doswell believes Sutton United can write yet another chapter in FA Cup folklore on Sunday with Championship high-flyers Leeds United visiting Gander Green Lane.

Sutton have a rich history in the famous competition and will be playing their first game in the fourth round since losing 8-0 at Norwich City in 1989.

The sides previously met in the same round of the competition back in 1970, with Allan Clarke scoring four goals in a 6-0 victory for Don Revie’s Leeds team.

Eighty three places separate the sides but Doswell feels his team can spring another surprise, especially after defeating Cheltenham Town and AFC Wimbledon in the previous rounds.

Doswell said: “We’ve got a good chance against Leeds on our pitch because nobody likes playing on it apart from us it seems.

“We are very good on it, we’ve got a certain way of playing on it and we play some great, quick football.

“No disrespect to Leeds but they made seven or eight changes against Cambridge, and if they do that against us I think we’ll have a chance.

“If the manager puts out his starting XI then it’ll be very difficult for us.

“I think we’ve got to embrace it and I think we’ve got to believe it is a game we can get something out of.

“This group will believe they can and they won’t be turning up thinking they’ll get beat.”

Sunday’s game will see Doswell reunite with Leeds manager Garry Monk and first-team coach James Beattie who he knows from the pair’s time at Southampton.

The game will also see Sutton assistant manager Ian Baird come up against his former club, after he enjoyed two successful spells at Elland Road between 1985 and 1990.

Doswell added: “I know Garry Monk and James Beattie as I’m from Southampton and it’ll be nice to meet up with them two.

“Beatts is a Southampton legend and Gary has had a fantastic managerial career.  I’m so glad he’s done well at Leeds because, in my opinion, Swansea wouldn’t have been in the position they currently find themselves in if he had stayed.

“Ian Baird has just been introduced into the Leeds United hall of fame, so it’ll be nice for him as well as Leeds love Bairdy.

“He stays in the background and I’ve said to him I’d like him to have that bit of joy leading up to the game because he’s a great coach for me.

“It’s probably time now he can poke his bald head above the parapet and enjoy what is coming.”

Featured image courtesy of SUFCtv via YouTube, with thanks

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