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SMITH ON 'TOUGH' FA CUP DRAW

9 November 2015

Boss looks ahead to second-round trip to Chesterfield...

SADDLERS Boss, Dean Smith described our FA Cup Second Round draw with Chesterfield as a 'tough' tie but one that he is 'thoroughly looking forward to'. 

The Saddlers booked a place in the Second Round following a 2-0 victory over fellow League One club Fleetwood Town at the weekend and will now travel to another side from the same division in the form of Chesterfield.

Dean Saunders' men overcame a potentially tricky tie with non-league side FC United of Manchester on Monday evening to set up a cup meeting with the Saddlers. 

The Spireites currently sit 11th in table, nine points behind Dean Smith's men despite being one of only two sides to inflict defeat on the Saddlers in the league this season. 

"Ill be a tough tie that’s for sure," admitted Smith. "We’ve already had a tough game against them last month and on the day they got the better of us. 

"They’ve got some really good players and they’re in a good run of form at the moment as well. We know it will be a challenge but it’s a game we’re thoroughly looing forward to.” 

A late Matt Preston strike, the first of his career, proved to be a consolation when the two sides last met back in October. 

Goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Ian Evatt were enough to secure a 2-1 victory and see all three points head back to Derbyshire. 

Having already suffering defeat to Chesterfield, Smith insisted the league encounter would have little bearing on the forthcoming cup-tie. 

“On the day our performance was good so I don’t read anything into it” he added. “They started well, took the lead and then defended manfully against us for most of the game. 

“We know there are good teams in our league so this will be another good challenge for us.” 

The Saddlers have failed to reach the third round of football's oldest and most prestigious cup competition for the past eight seasons, a statistic which Smith is keen to put right. 

Our last appearance in the Third Round was in January 2008 when we were narrowly defeated by Millwall in a replay at the Den. 

"We’re holding on to the prospect of getting through,” commented Smith. “We’ve already had a taste of a cup run and we ended up playing Chelsea. 

"So we know what could be waiting for us at the end of it, including the prize money and it’s a game we’ll be heading in to looking to get into the third round. 

“We always seem to have a tough time with our FA Cup draws. Fleetwood was tough game but anytime you play a team in your league you’re in for a difficult afternoon and this will be no different.“ 

All FA Cup Second Round ties will take place across the weekend of the 4th - 7th December. 

The club will release further details in due course.

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