Plum tie is a big incentive for Cobblers as Page eyes United rematch

Rob Page got the chance to pit his wits against Manchester United's Jose Mourinho in the EFL Cup earlier this season, and he wants his team to set up another crack at Premier League opposition in the FA Cup
Rob Page got the chance to pit his wits against Manchester United's Jose Mourinho in the EFL Cup earlier this season, and he wants his team to set up another crack at Premier League opposition in the FA Cup
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Cobblers boss Rob Page admits the possibility of facing one of England’s big boys in the FA Cup third round serves as an added incentive for his side when they go into Sunday’s second-round clash.

Town have already had a taste of what it’s like to take on one of the world’s best this season when Premier League giants Manchester United rocked up at Sixfields in round three of the EFL Cup in September.

United ran out 3-1 winners on that occasion, but Northampton could get another shot of testing themselves against the best if they can successfully negotiate this weekend’s tricky tie at non-league Stourbridge.

Page said: “We want to win the game and we want to do well in the competition to bring the likes of Man United back to Sixfields and let the supporters be involved with that.

“Financially the club is in a fantastic place but it will be an extra bonus for the club and we want to get through to play against the bigger clubs again.

“There is that little bit of pressure because we are expected to win.

“It will be a difficult place to go but we’ll be prepared, professional and ready for action.

“What we’ve got to focus on is ourselves and re-creating the level of performance that we gave (in the 1-0 defeat) against Bolton on Saturday, certainly in the second-half. If we do that, we stand a good chance.

The FA Cup is famed for its upsets, from the likes of Sutton United beating holders Coventry City to Hereford’s shock triumph over Newcastle United.

And Page said: “It’s an opportunity for the so-called smaller clubs to have a go against the bigger clubs and do well in the competition.

“As a player you look forward to the challenges that it brings but financially clubs lower down can get revenue through the door with TV money and attracting bigger crowds which will benefit those clubs.

“As a young kid I always watched the FA Cup and for those reasons alone - for watching the lower clubs have a go against the bigger clubs and seeing the upsets that occur year in, year out.

“We have to make sure it’s not us on Sunday.”