Chesterfield fancy chances of beating 'hell of a good team' Portsmouth in FA Cup

Chesterfield fancy their chances of causing a big upset against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
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The League One leaders, who are unbeaten in 26 matches going back to March, visit Derbyshire on Sunday (12.15pm) in the first round of the famous competition.

The Spireites know they face an uphill task, but they are top of the National League and 13 games unbeaten themselves, so there is plenty of belief in the camp.

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"They are the favourites and rightly so but we give ourselves a really good chance of winning the game, knowing that if we don’t it is not the end of the world,” coach Danny Webb said. “We fancy ourselves to cause an upset. If we turn up and they have a bit of an off day then we have got a good chance.

Chesterfield host Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Sunday. Picture: Tina Jenner.Chesterfield host Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Sunday. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Chesterfield host Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Sunday. Picture: Tina Jenner.

“A lot of people, myself included, are using the phrase ‘free-hit’, and I have got to be careful myself saying that because you might give people the wrong impression that you are just turning up and having a game of football when really it means something to us this game. It is a different pressure to a league game, I think people can have a little bit less anxiety and nerves in their belly turning up, but oh yeah we want to win.”

Pompey, managed by former Oxford United man John Mousinho, are top of League One and are yet to lose this season. In fact, their last league defeat came against Sheffield Wednesday back in March.

Webb said: “They are a hell of a good team. It is silly the amount of games they have gone unbeaten. They have only conceded 10 goals and they are top of that league for a reason. I am pretty sure they will be up in the Championship next year. Hopefully we will be in League Two and that is where our priorities still lie, but to test ourselves against a team who are absolutely flying is going to be a real challenge, but a challenge we will look forward to. They have got a centre-forward who is very powerful in (Colby) Bishop. They play a certain way, they are structured, they all sing off the same page. They tick a hell of a lot of boxes.”

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FA Cup rules mean teams can name nine substitues in the first round, and can use five, but even so Webb said it will be a difficult task to pick the starting line-up because everyone is playing so well.

He explained: “No doubt there will be a couple of changes from Kidderminster, like there there was the game before that, and the game before that etc. It is going to be a difficult one for the gaffer and ourselves to pick the team, but as always it will be a team that we feel can win this game specifically. What is great about this group of lads is that they have seen that anyone can be left out and anyone can come back in so it really does keep the morale high even if they are not picked in the team. They all want to play against Portsmouth live on tele, but sadly there will be a few who miss out.”