John-Joe O’Toole is relishing tomorrow’s FA Cup replay at MK Dons with the Cobblers midfielder excited to play in front of nearly 7,000 Cobblers fans who are expected to make the short trip down the M1.
Following last Saturday’s 2-2 draw, Northampton and MK Dons will come face-to-face again on Tuesday evening with the winners to play Premier League champions Chelsea live on BBC 1 in round four.
Two goals from Ricky Holmes had put the Cobblers on course for a place in the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in 12 years when the two met at Sixfields last week but Dons salvaged a draw thanks to Nicky Maynard’s late equaliser which set up tomorrow’s replay.
And with such a big prize at stake, plus the incredible number of fans backing the team, O’Toole cannot wait for the occasion.
“It’s one to relish,” said the 27-year-old. “All the boys are looking forward to it. In a way we haven’t really got anything to lose and I suppose the pressure is on them.
“We gave them a good game at our place last week and I think we were a bit disappointed not to get through to the next round but it’ll be a good game to be involved in and hopefully I’m on the team sheet.
“All the lads want to be involved and it’s a great prospect that we could get Chelsea in the next round so I’m sure they’ll want to win as much as us and that’ll make it an interesting affair.”
Cobblers will take one of their biggest ever following to Milton Keynes with more fans set to travel than can fit inside the current capacity at Sixfields.
“They’ll be massive,” added O’Toole. “They were brilliant in the home leg and the fans have been superb all season and it really does help even when we’re 1-0 down because they’re right behind us from start to finish.
“As soon as we get a goal they give us an extra lift.”
Despite the troubles of last season, Cobblers fans have rarely wavered in their support for O’Toole with personalised songs and flags dedicated to the 27-year-old.
And it’s something which doesn’t go unappreciated.
“I try not to get involved in it during matches because I need to keep my head on the game but I do hear it and it does mean a lot to me,” added the former Watford man.
“There are a lot of good players, not just in our team but throughout football, that don’t quite get the recognition they deserve and don’t get their name sung so it means a lot to me and I truly grateful for it.
“It doesn’t go unnoticed.”