STANLEY’S KEE WANTS BORO TO BRING ON THE BIG BOYS
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