Cooper reflects on past meeting

It's been a long time coming, but Tamworth boss Mark Cooper comes face to face with Norwich City for the second time in the third round of the FA Cup today.

It's been a long time coming, but Tamworth boss Mark Cooper comes face to face with Norwich City for the second time in the third round of the FA Cup today.

The last time was as a player - on January 6, 1990 - when Cooper was a defender with Exeter, who drew 1-1 in Devon before loising 2-0 at Carrow Road in the replay.

“I have great memories from that game,” said Cooper. “I remember Robert Fleck scored for them in the first game. Hopefully we can go one better this time.”

While Cooper is looking forward to today's clash, he admitted he wasn't watching when the two teams were drawn out of the hat.


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“I didn't watch the draw, I was out walking,” he said.

Cooper led the Lambs into battle against Stoke last season - a tie they earned after away draws against Bournemouth and Hartlepool.

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This season has taken a similar path, with visits to Southport, Burton Albion and Rushden & Diamonds preceding the City clash.

“I got fed up with watching the draw,” said Cooper. “We have not had much luck in the past. But we are pleased to have drawn Norwich. We are excited about it. With all the press about, it's started to hit home. The FA Cup is a great competition. We love it here.”

Cooper also has Conference survival issues on his mind - the Lambs are second from bottom and on a run of four defeats and a draw in their last five outings. Their last win was in mid November.

The £150,000 cheque from the BBC for today's appearance in front of a domestic audience of millions could help ease the pain.

“With the money we are getting, we could buy somebody to score goals,” said Cooper, who is realistic about his team's chances today.

“It depends on how Norwich approach the game,” he said. “If they fancy it, they will beat us hands down. If they are not quite right then we have a chance. We are hoping being underdogs will work in our favour. It's just a one-off game.”

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