Sutton gunning for some more cup magic

Sutton United star Nicky Bailey insists that they want Arsenal to pick their strongest side on Monday night as they hope to follow in Lincoln’s foot-steps and into the last eight of the cup.

Lincoln produced one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history as they won at Burnley on Saturday, but Sutton – who still ranks amongst the big giants slayers in after their defeat of Coventry in 1989 – would surely eclipse that if they could overcome Arsenal at Gander Green Lane.

And waiting for Sutton in the quarter-finals, none other than Lincoln and midfield general Bailey is a firm believer in the ‘magic’ of the cup.

“People keep saying magic of the FA Cup has gone, but look at Lincoln and what they have done, and us – but nobody can take anything lightly now or for granted as you will get knocked out,” Bailey told

“People keep saying magic of the FA Cup has gone, but look at Lincoln and what they have done”

“For a club like Sutton we look to try and get as far as we can, as a player you like to win as much as you can. But the interest in the game has been amazing. I could have sold 1,000 tickets on my own, we could have fitted more than 10,000 in easy.

“It has all been mad throughout this run including beating Leeds, but we have played so well throughout this run too and we have taken our chances.”

Bailey insists that Sutton want to see Arsenal’s galaxy of stars and hopes they pick a strong side.

“At the end of the day this is Arsenal – they have got international players at every level, they are going to put a good team out and losing 5-1 to Bayern Munich, probably means this is the only thing they have to play for now and we hope they put a good team out,” he said.

“We are expecting them to put a young team out with some experienced guys too, but we want the best they have.”

A lot of talk pre-match has been about the artificial 3G surface at Gander Green Lane, but he insists that it will be comfortable for Arsenal to play on.

“A lot of Premier League clubs have the artificial stuff built in at their training grounds, but this 3G is slightly different but this is top-notch it has a shock absorber underneath, you can slide on it with out grass burns, you get a true roll – it is brilliant to play on.

“We are playing Arsenal and they should be able to pass on anything”

“People don’t like coming here, but it is 11 against 11, we are playing Arsenal and they should be able to pass on anything – they will either teach us a lesson or if they disrespect us then we will get a real game from us.

“None of their players will have played anywhere like this. We going to try and do everything we can to make them feel as uncomfortable as possible to give ourselves a sporting chance.”

Bailey admits that Sutton’s run to the last 16 has taken themselves by surprise for a club who have only just been promoted back to the Conference, and although they did eye a cup run this season – they thought it was more likely in the FA Trophy.

“At the beginning of the season we had just been promoted so staying in the division with a good cup run was the aim, but to be fair we thought that might be the FA Trophy rather than the cup – and that remains our aim to stay in the league this season and then see where we can go.

“Clearly the aim is the Football League but for now we are enjoying this run and then we will turn back to the Conference, we have been pulled towards the bottom end but we have games in hand which we will have to deal with.”


Bailey himself returned to Sutton last season, which saw his career come full circle. He began his playing career at Gander Green Lane after being released by Fulham as a teenager. He progressed quickly and moved into the the professional game with Barnet, before moves to Southend, Charlton and then Middlesbrough – who paid over £1million for him.

He then joined Millwall but injuries began to catch up with the 32-year-old and he after leaving Barnet last season he decided to return ‘home’ to Sutton.

I” did not think I would be back at Sutton now but I had a lot of injuries during my last year at Millwall and I went back to Barnet, where I had been before but I did not enjoy it at all – so I left as I was only on a short-term deal,” he explained.

“The gaffer here was ringing me a few times and I thought why not, I know a few lads here – I love the place and to try and get them to where they wanted to go, I just wanted to play football and that has come my way here.”




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