The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Dunlavy

AC­CRING­TON Stan­ley striker Billy Kee wants Mid­dles­brough to un­leash the big guns when the League Two min­nows visit the River­side. Stan­ley beat Lu­ton 2-1 to reach the fourth round and will kick­off against Boro as the low­est-ranked team left in the com­pe­ti­tion, if Sut­ton and Lin­coln City bow out this week. Given the 72-place gulf be­tween the sides, Boro boss Ai­tor Karanka may be tempted to save tired legs for a Premier League rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle. Kee, though, hopes the likes of Al­varo Ne­gredo, Ste­wart Down­ing and Gas­ton Ramirez are all out in force. “I’d pre­fer they play the first team, the best play­ers they’ve got,” in­sists the 27-year-old, who has scored nine goals in 23 games for John Cole­man’s side this term. “Play­ers at that level don’t want to be tak­ing on the likes of us, do they? When you’re play­ing Man United and Chelsea ev­ery week, it’s hard to get up for a game against Ac­cring­ton and we can use that to our ad­van­tage. “Be­sides, the sec­ond string is just as good some­times. Man United played theirs against Read­ing and won 4-0, so it means noth­ing. “We’re ready to take on any team they put out and, fact is, we’ve al­ready shown we do pretty well against Prem teams this sea­son. “In the League Cup, we took Burn­ley all the way through extra time and beat them with the last kick of the game. In the next round, we lost only 1-0 away to West Ham be­cause Payet scored a free­kick in the 96th minute. “They play a much more open type of foot­ball to what we’re used to and, some­times, that can be eas­ier to play against.” Kee ad­mits to being slightly dis­ap­pointed at draw­ing Boro. “When you get down to the last four and Man City are still in the hat, that’s what you want,” he says. But, for peren­ni­ally cash­strapped Stan­ley, the tie re­mains a vi­tal lifeline. So, will Cole­man be un­der or­ders to park the bus and play for a po­ten­tially mon­eyspin­ning tele­vised re­play? “I can’t imag­ine it be­cause John doesn’t believe in that,” says Kee. “He wants us to give ev­ery­one a game and is con­vinced that if we stick to the plan, we’ll be all right. “In pe­ri­ods of the game, we might have ten men be­hind the ball. They’ve just got too much qual­ity. But we’re all fit lads, we can all play. I think they’ll be sur­prised by how good we are. “Yeah, you al­ways want more money, but the club is quite sta­ble now. Andy Holt (who took over in Oc­to­ber 2015) has come in and been mas­sive. He’s taken the club on and, while Cup runs help the bud­get, it’s not the case any more that we need them to sur­vive.” Wy­combe and Ac­cring­ton are League Two’s only cer­tain rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the fourth round, but will be joined by Ply­mouth if Derek Adams’ men can shock Liver­pool at Home Park on Wed­nes­day. The Pil­grims’ re­ward would be a home tie against Wolves. Gary Bowyer, mean­while, will face for­mer club Black­burn if his Black­pool side can over­come Barnsley in a re­play at Oak­well. A re­union is also on for for­mer Man United coach War­ren Joyce, whose strug­gling Wi­gan side travel to Old Traf­ford. And Brent­ford fans are look­ing for­ward to re­viv­ing a long-dor­mant derby with a trip to West Lon­don ri­vals Chelsea.

HUN­GRY: Ac­cring­ton’s Billy Kee

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