McCormack believes FA Cup opponents Notts County still have League stature

Alan McCormack
Alan McCormack

Alan McCormack admits he is still surprised that Notts County will be travelling to the Cobblers as a non League club for Sunday's FA Cup second round clash at the PTS Academy Stadium.

The Magpies were founder members of the Football League in 1888, and had been members ever since until they were relegated to the National League on the final day of last season.

County are determined to return to the big time, but they have suffered a stop-start opening to their campaign, and are currently in ninth place in the table, six points off the play-offs and nine adrift of automatic promotion.

They will be backed by more than 1,000 supporters at the PTS, and McCormack admits it is going to feel like he and his team-mates are up against a League rival on Sunday.

"I don't see Notts County as a non-League club," said the Irishman, who is set to make the 500th senior appearance of his career in the match.

"I have played against them for so many years now in the leagues, and it is a fabulous club.

"We (Luton Town) got a great reception there a couple of years ago when we played after we had secured promotion, and they gave us a fantastic reception, clapping everybody off the pitch with a guard of honour.

"Little things like that mean a lot, and it just shows what type of club it is.

"They still get great support, and they have always had that, and yes, they are going through a bit of a rough patch, but it is certainly a club that I don't think will spend too long where it is, and will find themselves back in the League where a club the size of Notts County should be."

McCormack is a big fan of the FA Cup, and said: "The beauty of the FA Cup is the smaller clubs against the bigger clubs, the underdogs, and the FA Cup has the beauty of the upsets that it can cause.

"It is a one-off game, so the smaller team, or the underdog, does have a chance. It is a 50-50 race and one person has to win it, so you definitely have a chance regardless of the calibre of team in front of you.

"It has always been the way with the FA Cup and it is probably why it is the best cup competition in the world, and has been regarded as such for a very long time.

"That makes people want to play in it and get further in it, get to the third round when the bigger clubs come in and then it is even more special."

And with a place in that third round up for grabs this weekend, he is looking forward to the clash against Neal Ardley's men.

"It should be a great atmosphere, and everybody wants that place in the third round," said the 35-year-old.

"The cherry is there for both teams to go and grab, and hopefully we can be the ones to go and take it."