Joe Ironside and Jack Iredale sat down with local media on Thursday to preview Cambridge United's FA Cup clash against Newcastle United on Saturday 8th January...
First up was striker Joe Ironside.
On preparing to face Newcastle:
“Shearer was my idol growing up, I had a few of his shirts and went to St James’ Park to watch him play against Sheffield Wednesday when I was eight. I have good memories of going to St James’ Park.
“I know it is cliché, but it is just another game and we will prepare the same way. It is a great occasion, but we don’t want the occasion to takeover, we just want to do what we normally would do.”
On the occasion:
“I think as a striker it is normal to visualise scoring goals before games, I do it for any game so wanting to do it on Saturday is no different, obviously I would love to score at St James’ Park, though.
“Scoring at Fratton Park with the atmosphere there was great, but I think there will be about three times as many people there on Saturday! In reality though, it is irrelevant how many people are there, obviously it is a great occasion for us and for the fans and everything, but at the end of the day, it is just another game.”
On the potential arrival of big names at St James’ Park:
“We expected this [Newcastle to spend in January] when we got the tie. It just adds add more to the game, but from our point of view it is just another game, and we have to go in and prepare as we would do for any game.”
Jack Iredale was next up on media duties.
On the build-up to the game:
“There has been a lot of uncertainty around it with COVID-19 and even not knowing if we were going to be allowed to have fans or not in the stadium, so everyone is absolutely buzzing that there has been no regulations put in around that and it is looking like a healthy crowd so I am really excited for it!
“My memories of Newcastle has to be watching Mark Viduka playing for them. Obviously, in Australian he was always on the TV in the Sports News when I had my breakfast before school or whatever growing up.”
On experience playing in big stadia:
“I played Celtic at Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup Quarter-Final, and that was that was an incredible experience. Other than that though I have not really had too many big cup ties, so I am really looking forward to this weekend.
“I think you have just got to enjoy the experience, really. That is what I did on that day, even if we lost 3-0, but it was still an awesome place to play and then be able to say that I played football there, and I will be able to tick another one off the list this weekend hopefully.
“When we went to Charlton, we were happy with everything bar the result. I think we deserved to take something from the game. I thought we were really good and got punished on two occasions.
“We were sitting in the changing rooms after game thinking how have we not taken anything from that. We have said that a couple times this season though and it feels like we are close to getting what we deserve really with those performances.
“I think as a team we are thriving off being in those kind of environments. I think the first sell-out we had at the Abbey, we were a little bit like a deer in the headlights for a couple minutes, but now have had those experiences of big crowds, whether it is for or against us.”
On the prospect of playing in front of 5,000 U’s:
“It is absolutely incredible, I am so excited to see them all up in the in the clouds in the away end at St James’. It is fantastic support and we really appreciate it and hopefully we can give them a really enjoyable day out.
“There is nothing better than a full house when you are playing football, you get goosebumps when the crowds are making that much noise, but you sort of have to take a second to try and take it in before you block it out and try and really focus on the game.”