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THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN: Revel in the magic of the cup
WELL it’s finally here. Revel in it, relish it and enjoy the moment because nights like these don’t grace the County Ground all too often.
Congratulations to those of you who picked up the hottest ticket in town this evening.
It’s a sell out in SN1 and I can’t be the only one getting overly excited at the prospect of Jose Mourinho and his plethora of international superstars paying a visit to little old Swindon.
Speaking to chairman Jed McCrory in the weeks building up to tonight, I have been struck by his almost absurd confidence that the Robins can see off their Premier League guests.
It took me until the moment I sat down to write these notes to realise that, to be honest, I don’t really care about tonight’s result.
Win or lose, these sorts of games are all about the experience. It’s an evening where a nine-year-old boy falls in love with the sport, where another generation of Town fans are born.
What’s more, it’s another chance for the players to strut their stuff, a little over three weeks after their exhibition at MK Dons was cruelly cut short.
Whatever happens over 90, or 120, or 140 minutes worth of football tonight, this is an occasion that even the most modest, introverted Swindon supporter should use as an opportunity to immerse him or herself in the club.
Believe it or not, you’re allowed to smile as a Town fan, you’re allowed to be proud. And loud. And if you fancy it, raucous.
Almost 50 years ago to the day, Swindon beat Chelsea 3-0 in this very competition, tonight marks a golden chance to mark that golden anniversary in style.
History, form and pedigree goes out the window when a European, nay a global juggernaut rocks up to face a lower-league outfit fully of cocky youngsters with no fear. Chelsea will underestimate this Town side at their peril.
Win or lose, Mark Cooper will be offering Mourinho a glass of Blossom Hill and a slightly stale sandwich post-match, that in itself is an illustration of the vast wealth deficit between the two sides.
But Swindon Town is rich in self-belief and arrogant young professionals who can play a Wolves side worth £10million a year off the park with embarrassing ease.
I don’t expect a victory tonight, no one should, but I certainly expect to be entertained.
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