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The City Viewpoint

Oxford fans excited about cup clash

2 November 2017

Colchester United take on Oxford City in the Emirates FA Cup First Round on Saturday, with both sides eager to make progress to the next stage.

The U's opponents have won three matches to set up the clash at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and excitement is rising among the City fans prior to their visit to north Essex.

We caught up with Oxford season ticket holder Mark Neal for his views ahead of the game.

1 – What is the mood in the camp ahead of the weekend visit to Colchester?
Very excited. Everyone at the club is buzzing for this game, as it has been six years since our last First Round Proper tie in the FA Cup. The magic of the FA Cup has got everyone dreaming at the club.

2 – The team have endured a tough run in the league of late, will the cup provide a welcome distraction?
Yes we haven't won in the league for two months. Early season, we were playing well but not being rewarded for our performances. We have played three FA Cup games to get to Colchester, scoring nine goals. The FA Cup has been a welcome distraction from our wretched league form.

3 – How impressed have you been with the team in their FA Cup run so far this season?
I've been impressed to be honest - so far, we have brushed Whitehawk aside after going behind, and in the following round, we played Leiston and were losing 2-1 with eight minutes to go but scored three late goals - two in injury time - to win 4-2.

In the last round, we saw off Bognor. We were dominant through the game, but a lack of killer instinct meant a nervy finale with only a 1-0 victory. 

4 – Which players should we be looking out for at the weekend?
Zac McEachran, brother of Josh (Brentford) and George (England U17s World Champion). Great technical ability and can weave past players with ease in the midfield.

Godfrey Poku, a combative midfielder who can play anywhere across the midfield and also in the backline, a workhorse who gives 110% every game.

Matt Paterson. Former Southampton striker. Played as a lone frontman this season due to injuries to other forward players, and has netted 10 goals, including a sumptuous match winning volley in the last round to down Bognor Regis 1-0.

5 – What will the team need to do to spring an upset on Saturday?
Believe. The team has enormous talent and good togetherness. Its the FA Cup, if City give it their best and Colchester have an off day who knows.

6 – Can the weekend game provide an opportunity to go back into the league with a spring in your step?
So far the FA Cup wins have been followed by returning to reality as the league fixtures come along and we struggle to pick up three points.

We are in a relegation fight at moment, with ourselves second bottom in National League South. A few wins and we would be up the table so important to get back to winning ways in the league as soon as possible!

Mark runs the Headington Hoop website, compiling stats on his support of the Conference South side. You can see the site HERE

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