BILLY’S KNOTT SCARED OF TAK­ING ON BLACK CATS

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FIFTH ROUND PREVIEWS - By Joshua Mur­ray

IF EVER there was a team to epit­o­mise the old adage ‘foot­ball isn’t played on pa­per’, surely it would be Brad­ford City.

And mid­fielder Billy Knott is con­fi­dent that rep­u­ta­tion is well-founded ahead of his side’s FA Cup fifth round clash against his old club Sun­der­land to­day.

The Ban­tams’ hard-fought jour­ney to the Cap­i­tal One Cup fi­nal in 2013 was the stuff of York­shire fairy­tales.

But even that re­mark­able jour­ney may yet prove to be a foot­note un­der- neath the epic tale of the 2015 FA Cup, fol­low­ing a re­mark­able turn­around at Stam­ford Bridge that saw the League One side come from 2-0 down to de­feat Chelsea 4-2.

It might be sup­posed that all that gi­ant-killing would be­come a bit of a dis­trac­tion for Phil Parkin­son’s side, who are also chas­ing pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship.

But ac­cord­ing to Knott, Brad­ford’s self-be­lief in knock­out tour­na­ments puts them in a strong po­si­tion ahead of the ea­gerly-awaited ar­rival of the Black Cats to Val­ley Pa­rade.

“We are go­ing into the game full of

con­fi­dence and look­ing to do some­thing to win this game,” said the 22-year-old mid­fielder.

“I think when you play the big teams it is just a one-off game, so that means we go into th­ese matches gen­uinely think­ing that we can win them.

“As we said be­fore the Chelsea game, we’re not just in the FA Cup to make up the num­bers.

“When we have needed to take our chances this sea­son we have done, and although we will show Sun­der­land a lot of re­spect, we are in the game to try and go through.”

Knott is not the only for­mer Sun­der- land player hop­ing to play a star­ring role against the Pre­mier League out­fit, with Jon Stead likely to start up front along­side James Han­son. Stead found the net on that fa­mous Jan­uary af­ter­noon against Chelsea, and says he is rel­ish­ing the prospect of claim­ing an­other top-flight scalp.

“I am ex­cited be­cause I have seen the way the cup­ties have been over the last cou­ple of years for Brad­ford,” he said. “It will be a huge oc­ca­sion for the club, we’ll set out to do the busi­ness and we’ll see where that takes us.”

POS­I­TIVE: Billy Knott

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

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