'They never cease to amaze me' - Hartlepool United fans are praised ahead of sellout trip to Crystal Palace
FA Cup fever has landed for Hartlepool United as almost 5,000 supporters make their journey to Selhurst Park this afternoon.
Pools face Crystal Palace in the fourth round looking to make history and will be backed by a sellout following in the capital.
Pools fans snapped up all 4,700 tickets made available to them and will make the trip to South London in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere inside Selhurst Park.
Eagles fans themselves are notorious for generating a good atmosphere and Pools boss Graeme Lee can’t wait to get a taste of it all later today.
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“It’s going to be amazing, it really is,” Lee told The Mail.
“Hopefully at the end of the day we give them something to smile about. I think everyone will be going for the weekend and having a fantastic time. And we’ll give everything we can to cause an upset.
“Even if we don’t win, we still deserve a celebration for what the players have gone through and the run they’ve had. It’s a proud moment.”
Lee’s thoughts were echoed by the club’s chief operating officer, Stephen Hobin, who admits the support from Pools fans continues to surprise him.
“It’s incredible and they never cease to amaze me,” Hobin told The Mail.
“When I first started I couldn't believe it when I walked out and I heard the atmosphere. So to take them all the way down to London, they’ll be taking over in their droves.
“But they deserve it because they’ve been through the mill. This football club has been through the mill.”
Pools will be led out at Selhurst Park by Gary Liddle who is expected to captain the side in place of the suspended Nicky Featherstone, and although the defender has experienced many special moments with Pools supporters throughout his career, the 35-year-old admits it’s set to be another memorable occasion.
“We’ve sold nearly 5,000 but I think if you’d have stuck another 5,000 on top of that you would have quite easily sold them,” said Liddle.
“That shows the type of support this football club has got.
“It was kept alive through the fans a few years ago and they haven’t had too many good times, taking Bristol out of the equation, so it’s something they deserve.”