Reds Alert

GRAHAM Carey knows a thing or two about Liverpool Football Club...

...but even he is not sure what to expect on Sunday. 

The Irishman grew up a Reds fan, visiting Anfield on several occasions from boyhood onwards, and was the man, via his penalty against Newport in an Emirates FA Cup second round replay, who ensured the Pilgrims would get to pass through the Shankly gates to play in round three. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hinted he may rotate his superstar squad, meaning Graham and his Pilgrims team-mates cannot fully prepare for the personnel they will meet on Sunday. 

“With them not being in Europe, they could well go with a full-strength team,” said Carey. “They’ll be looking to win the FA Cup, so we’ll prepare like we do for every game, and on Sunday it’s about us trying to get the best of out of us. If they make a few changes that may suit us. 

“Not playing in Europe, they’ve been fresh. They play high-tempo, high-pressure attacking football. It will be a great challenge for us, and a day to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the country. 

“It’s quite strange. With the group of players we have got, we are happy being the target, because we’ve been that, being top of the league or in the promotions spots. People have been chasing us, so this will be a different experience. 

Carey’s family are heading across the Irish Sea en masse – and not just for craic. The Irish links to Liverpool means many are Reds fans, but also they keen to see their kinsman display the talents we know he is capable of, on a grand scale. Perhaps, even, he may emulate some of the Anfield greats through the years. 

“I’ve got about 17 or 18 coming across,” said Graham. “The phone has been going mad for tickets. Not many of them get over to many games – they manage it for the big games though!

“Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard have gone on to be Liverpool legends, there were the kind of players I looked up to when I was younger. Hopefully Sunday, you never know, it might happen.”

Graham sees a possible route to success against the Reds. Carey’s attacking partners Jake Jervis, Craig Tanner, Jordan Slew, Arnie Garita and others have the physical capabilities to trouble Liverpool, and with players like Carey and David Fox in the line-up, Argyle have men capable of delivering a troubling set-piece, given the opportunity. 

“We’ve scored a lot of goals from set-pieces,” said Graham. “In cup competitions set-pieces are vital, so hopefully we can make them count. 

“We have a lot of pace, power and strength up front. It is important we keep the ball when we can. We will have long spells where we don’t have the ball, so when we do have it we need to keep it, and try to counter attack them quickly, The pace and power we have will cause anyone problems.”