Thursday, April 23, 2009

FC sign 2,000 Cantonas

Source: Manchester Evening News

Stuart Brennan

April 23, 2009

FC UNITED will have over 2,000 Eric Cantonas on their side as they seek a place in the Unibond premier play-offs.

Fans attending Saturday’s crunch match against fellow promotion chasers Bradford Park Avenue will be handed rubber masks for a publicity stunt organised by the company behind the new Ken Loach film “Looking for Eric”.

But once the silliness is over, FC will knuckle down to play a game which they must win to ensure their hopes of a fourth successive promotion stay alive.

Even a victory will not assure FC of a place in the top five – if Kendal can beat Buxton by three goals more, the Rebels could end up slipping to sixth on goal difference in a tight finish to a great season.

Manager Karl Marginson has been boosted by the expected return of striker Carl Lomax after suspension and illness, anmd he feels his team has the bit between its teeth after last week’s last-minute win at second-placed Ilkeston.

“We have been building towards this for a while, but every game for the last six or seven weeks has been a ‘must-win’ and the players have responded magnificently,” he says.

“They say you make your own luck, in terms of effort, and that must mean we are the luckiest team in the league.

“It was tight at Ilkeston last week but they hadn’t been beaten for 23 games – we were the last team to beat them, in fact – but some of our football was great.”

FC were boosted by Bradford’s shock midweek defeat at relegated Leigh Genesis, but Marginson will warn his players that that plus might have a negative side.

“That was a defeat Bradford weren’t expecting, but it might be one that sharpens their focus,” he says. “If they had gone to Leigh and steamrollered them, they would have come to Gigg Lane on Saturday only needing a draw. Now they have to win, we have to win as well, and winning well would be a bonus for us.

“If Kendal can score a bucketload of goals against Buxton they will deserve it, because Buxton don’t normally concede many.”