Hartlepool United defender Gary Liddle focusing on the bigger picture after FA Cup third round tie at Oxford United

Gary Liddle knows all about Hartlepool United’s FA Cup third round opponents Oxford United after being part of the Walsall squad who were knocked out by The U’s in the second round.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 11:46 am
Gary Liddle of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barrow at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 28th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Gary Liddle of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barrow at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 28th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Due to his involvement in the previous rounds with Walsall, Liddle is cup-tied for Pools in Saturday’s match as he has both eyes firmly set on the next National League match.

“You can go to Oxford holding no fears really because Hartlepool are definitely not expected to win down there,” he said.

“I was in the Walsall squad that played Oxford in the FA Cup in the last round and they’re a very good side, very possession based and a typical Karl Robinson team.

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“It will be a tough game especially down at their place but it’s one where the lads can go down there, have a go and hopefully spring a surprise.”

Pools started 2020 with a 1-0 home defeat to Harrogate as they look to bounce back by reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in over a decade.

But for Liddle, the focus remains very much on the next National League match.

“You would have liked to have gone into the match on the back of a win but for me and for the manager and the players, whether they admit it or not, the most important match is the Tuesday after against Eastleigh,” he added.

“It’s a massive fixture and our game in hand on a few teams so it’s crucial for the football club and one we definitely need to win.”