Tamworth will be a 'culture shock'

CHRIS LAKEY Tamworth boss Mark Cooper has warned Norwich City to prepare for a FA Cup culture shock on Saturday.


Tamworth boss Mark Cooper has warned Norwich City to prepare for a FA Cup culture shock on Saturday.

The Canaries travel to The Lamb, a 4,000-capacity stadium which sits incongruously opposite an indoor ski slope, with Cooper priming his team of part-timers for the biggest slip-up of the third round of the world's oldest knockout competition.

“It's not the most salubrious of places for sure,” Cooper told the Eastern Daily Press yesterday.

“Let's face it, the BBC cameras are not coming to Tamworth because we have a super stadium and a nice pitch.

“They are coming here because there is the chance of a shock.

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“It's probably one of the worst grounds in the Conference, we are all part-timers and it's going to be a typical Cup tie, with the milkman crossing the ball to the postman.

“The changing rooms aren't the best, the pitch isn't the best and the stand isn't huge. But we have a vociferous crowd on our side and there will be a great atmosphere. The crowd will be right on top of them, baying for blood.”

Cooper has been on one scouting mission to see the Canaries - the 2-2 draw at Wolves just before Christmas, when Robert Earnshaw bagged two spectacular goals.

“I thought they played well and were unlucky not to win the game,” added Cooper, whose team are struggling one place off the bottom of the Conference. “It will be interesting to see whether Earnshaw plays against us or not.

“But we know whatever team Norwich put out will be a lot better than ours. But we know what to do - we know we have to compete as a team in battle and see what happens.

“On our day we can play okay - so we just have to wait and see what happens.”

Cooper took the Lambs to within a whisker of a third round upset a year ago when his team held Championship side Stoke to a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium before going out on penalties in the replay.

“We should have beaten Stoke, we were seven minutes away and then one penalty away,” said Cooper. “But our players won't be affected by that. I think you have to believe it could be your day to create a shock.

“I have a pretty level-headed bunch of players, they're all good lads, good people. They have good jobs and it's nice for them to have their moment in the spotlight. It's a break from the league action for them and they will enjoy their day, as simple as that.”