Crawley boss looks for fairytale help

Crawley boss looks for fairytale help

Crawley Town manager Steve Evans has been canvassing the football leagues for help in his search of a fairytale end to the FA Cup fifth round encounter with Premier League giants Manchester United in the Theatre of Dreams.

The Blue Square Premier club travel to Old Trafford on Saturday hoping to cause the biggest shock in FA Cup history and Evans confided to The Sun newspaper that he has sought advice from experienced League managers and former Manchester United players.

“Paul Ince is one of my best friends. I speak with him almost every day. He told me United have fantastic players but they are not immortal," Evans was quoted. "And he said one of the hardest jobs I have is to get my players to believe they can overcome the aura surrounding Old Trafford and win.”

Evans has been in touch with current and former Premier League managers as he leaves no stone unturned in his FA Cup quest, QPR manager Neil Warnock has plotted against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils on many occasions and he has offered his advice along with former Peterborough manager Barry Fry who was an apprentice with Manchester United at the start of his career.

"They said, 'Just play your normal game. Keep trying to play football and pass the ball like you do, don't try to do things different just because you're playing Manchester United.'” All well and good but, Evans was left to ponder, how?: "My only reservation is that for us to go there and pass the ball means we might have to play the match with a second ball on the pitch because we might not get to see the first one."

He set the tone for other priceless words of wisdom shared by Premier League insiders: "Eric Black, Steve Bruce's assistant at Sunderland, told me, 'Straight from kick-off, start praying.' But my favourite has to be from Alex McLeish. Big Eck is a Glasgow-boy-done-good just like me and I really value his opinion. He told me, 'Start with 12 players and hope nobody notices.'"

McCleish understands all too well how difficult it is to take on Ferguson’s team in their own back yard, having seen his Birmingham side thrashed 5-0 at Old Trafford last month, but Evans is determined that his players enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience: "We are a fairytale club going to the Theatre of Dreams, determined to put on a show that will have a happy ending," he closed.


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