Friday, October 22, 2010

Bayliss: We're the underdogs

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 BARROW AFC joint-boss Dave Bayliss believes his side will be the underdogs when they tackle FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Bluebirds go to Gigg Lane hoping to progress past the fourth qualifying round and, in the process, bank £12,500 in prize money.

And, though Barrow sit 39 places above their Evo-Stick League Premier Division opponents in the football pyramid, Bayliss feels his side go into the potential banana-skin tie as second favourites.

The FA Trophy holders have not won any of their last seven games and now reside in the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone.

“I’d say we’re underdogs, not favourites, for the game,” said Bayliss.

“FC United are probably a bigger club fan-base-wise than we are and are at home.

“There will probably be about 2,500 there on Sunday, so it should be a great atmosphere inside a good Football League ground.

“At this stage of the competition, you can easily be given an away game on a sloping pitch in front of 300-400 people, but we’ve been given a really good, yet really tough, tie to play in.”

Asked if the cup tie provided a welcome distraction from Barrow’s current league troubles, Bayliss added: “I suppose so. We’ve played well in spells during the last seven games but we haven’t won, which is massively disappointing.

“But every game in football gives you the chance to redeem yourself and the lads, although despondent after last weekend, have trained hard this week and are excited about the game against FC United.

“Because it’s a Sunday game, we’ll do things a bit different and train Saturday morning rather than Friday.

“Especially after the success we’ve had in the FA Cup in the last two years, reaching the third round against Middlesbrough then Sunderland, the lads want more of what they’ve tasted.”

Barrow beat Accrington 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Holker Street on Wednesday.

Centre-half Phil Bolland, back from suspension, played the full 90 minutes, while all other players, including Nick Chadwick and Marc Goodfellow, both of whom are returning from injuries, featured for 45 minutes.

Bayliss said: “It went really well.

“Having Bolly back gives us more options again and we’re starting, apart from Simon Wiles obviously and Alan Martin, to get back together the full squad we’ve always wanted.

“We won the game 2-1, with Jason Walker and Mike Pearson scoring.

“The game allowed us to try a few things out, play a bit differently. It gave us some food for thought.”

Meanwhile, Bayliss rubbished rumours linking Barrow with a move for former Everton and Arsenal striker Franny Jeffers. He joked: “We’re more likely to get Franny Lee!”

Elsewhere, other ex-Premier League stars are being linked with clubs in non-league’s top-flight.

Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires is reported to be a target for big-spending Crawley Town, while former Manchester United and Newcastle wideman Keith Gillespie is to have a trial at Darlington.

l The draw for the FA Cup first round will be televised live on ITV on Sunday at 12.30pm

Barrow’s game at FC United kicks off at 3pm, meaning both sides will be in the hat, alongside League One and Two clubs like Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Charlton.

First published at 13:09, Friday, 22 October 2010
Published by