Oxford United take on Newcastle tonight in a fourth-round FA Cup replay and boss Karl Robinson feels the three-sided Kassam Stadium could give his players an advantage.
Newcastle lost 3-0 on their last visit to Oxford at the same stage of the competition in 2017, and while few players remain from that particular game, Robinson feels the set-up at the U’s home ground could unsettle their more illustrious opponents and give his side an edge.
Speaking to the Witney Gazette, he said: ‘I always say with this place that those three stands don’t half throw people when they first come here.’
‘They won’t be used to anything like this, and we’re hoping it works in our favour.’
‘We’re really excited about the tie, and we just hope we can put a performance on.’
Having already beaten West Ham this season in the Carabao Cup, Oxford will go into the tie full of confidence and backed by a sell-out crowd. The U’s are going well in League One, and despite having lost two of their best players in January, they beat Blackpool last time out 2-1.
The loss of Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu to Brentford was picked up by Steve Bruce in his pre-match comments but agreed with Robinson that his players would face a tough game. He said:
‘They’ve lost two of their players, so that’ll hinder them I’m sure, but they’re a good side.’
‘It’s got all the classics of the FA Cup and what it is – (it’s) live on the T.V, and they’ll want the underdogs to turn us over.’
‘We have to be wary of that.’
Oxford are a decent side, and Newcastle have a terrible FA cup record in recent years.
The ingredients are there for an upset, and Robinson is right, the Kassam is an odd place to visit.
If Steve Bruce makes too many changes or his team isn’t on their game, Oxford stand a real chance of causing an upset.