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Crawley manager Barker relishing Reading FA Cup test

Billy Clarke was man of the match and scored Crawley's second goal against Chelmsford City (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Billy Clarke was man of the match and scored Crawley's second goal against Chelmsford City (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Richie Barker has urged his side to use the experience of giving Swansea City a scare ahead of Crawley’s FA Cup Third Round tie with Reading.

The Reds were handed a home draw against the Premier League’s second-bottom team in today’s draw after a 3-0 win against Chelmsford City, and although it was not the dream away tie against the likes of Manchester United or Chelsea, Barker hopes the Broadfield Stadium will be packed for the Royals’ visit.

He said: “Maybe it’s not the away draw which would have created the finances. I’m hopeful that it will be a sell-out, hopefully we can put on a similar performance as we did against Swansea.”

Crawley were beaten by Swansea in the Capital One Cup in September, after two goals in the last 20 minutes saw Michael Laudrup’s team come from 2-1 down. And Barker believes there will be reason for his troops to be overawed by facing top flight opposition again.

“Obviously we played Swansea this season, last year it was Stoke and Manchester United the season before,” Barker said. “I think just about everyone at the club has played against Premier League opposition.

“There are no poor Premier League teams, they will see the game as an opportunity to get themselves some confidence and go on a winning run.”

Meanwhile, Barker will use former Royals manager Steve Coppell as a sounding board in the build-up to the game. The Crawler director of football was manager at the Madejski Stadium between 2003 and 2008, guiding them to the Championship title.

“He is still close with (Reading manager) Brian McDermott,” Barker said. “I’m sure he will have a fair amount of information.”

 

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