As some of the big Premier League clubs bemoan another round of FA Cup football, Scunthorpe United defender Scott Laird said the magic is still alive for lower league teams ahead of his club’s clash with Chelsea.
Laird has experienced his fair share of FA Cup magic, too.
In 2011, he was part of the Stevenage side that knocked Newcastle United and in 2012 he helped force a replay against Tottenham with the same team.
But his most memorable moment came in last season’s edition when he put Preston North End 1-0 up against Manchester United in an eventual 3-1 loss.
This time, he hopes to go one better with Scunthorpe, who take on reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.
“The only people who moan about the FA Cup are in the top leagues,” Laird told The Independent.
“In the lower leagues we love it. The magic of the FA Cup has always been very special to me.”
Laird said his favourite memory was scoring against United last season.
“Everything seemed to slow down,” he said.
“I saw Paul Gallagher calling for it, but there was no chance I was going to pass. I hit it, it took a slight deflection, and went in.”
With plenty of experience to count on, Laird said his advice to his team-mates would be simple heading into the clash against Chelsea.
“I will be trying to tell the lads to take it in and enjoy it,” he said.
“There is no point in letting it all pass you by, so when the game has finished it has just been a blur. Take your surroundings in and enjoy it. Don’t just wait to be beaten.”