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Importance of the Cup

7 November 2019

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ARGYLE captain Gary Sawyer says the Pilgrims’ are taking it ‘seriously like a league game’ ahead of Saturday’s First Round FA Cup tie at Bolton Wanderers.

In terms of league status, the Pilgrims will be classed as underdogs for Saturday’s game at the University of Bolton Stadium against a side in the division above but it has been a turbulent time for the Trotters.

Wanderers went into administration and were docked 12 points before a game was played this season and had to field youth players through the early weeks of the campaign, but stability has returned under the management of Keith Hill and Sawyer feels it will be the home side arguably feeling more of the pre-match pressure.

“There is a slight difference in terms of they are a league above us, the pressure probably more goes on to them than us,” he said.

“It’s another game and it is a game that we feel that we want to do well in, and we want to progress through the cup, so we take it seriously like any league game. We keep marching forward and hopefully we can get the result that we want on Saturday.

“Bolton is a massive club, they obviously escaped what could have happened to them with their fate and it’s a huge club, great stadium and it’s another ground that I haven’t played at before."

When Gaz played an FA Cup game against Manchester United during a loan spell with Exeter in the early years of his career, the Pilgrim skipper spent time at the Bolton stadium.

“I actually stayed there when I played the Man United game,” he said. “Me and a lad that used to play here, Marcus Martin, we roomed together, and I remember walking around obviously knowing you’re playing Man United the next day.

“I was looking out at Bolton’s stadium and just thinking 'this is amazing, I’d love to play here' and I’ve never had a chance since then, so the FA Cup has brought me that too.”

Although it is a new venue for Gaz, there will be a familiar face in the home line-up. Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews was previously at Argyle and made a huge impression during his loan spell from Norwich before making the permanent switch to Bolton.

“Remi was great for us, a great lad as well off the pitch,” said Gaz. “A fantastic ‘keeper, he will do well for them, as he did for us, but it will be nice to stick one over on him.”

The Green Army will be travelling in numbers on Saturday and will certainly be hoping for an upset to occur in what should be a thrilling encounter in the Pilgrims’ first game of the FA Cup.


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