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Cherries ripe for Reds

STRAIGHT-TALKING Lutel James is never one to get carried away - but he has Manchester United in his sights.

STRAIGHT-TALKING Lutel James is never one to get carried away - but he has Manchester United in his sights.

After super sub Andy Gouck seized the national headlines with his wonder goal against Huddersfield in the FA Cup first round, striker James is aiming to be the man to upset Second Division high-flyers Bournemouth tomorrow at the Fitness First Stadium.

And then he wants the Reds to grab the nation's attention once more by sealing a third round tie against the team he supports, United, at Old Trafford.

He played there in the Worthington Cup for Bury, losing in extra time - and admits it is something he dreams about.

"I would never ever get sick of playing there. I could play there all day, every day," said the hitman, who is the only ever-present in the Stanley side this season.

But first he knows the Reds have the tough task of getting rid of Bournemouth who are sixth in Division Two and have only lost one of their 10 league games at home this season.

James reckons the strategy is to just go for it and boost his own 12-goal tally while strike partner Paul Mullin - who scored two in the 2-0 win over Barnet on Saturday - can add to his 13-goal haul.

"We need to make sure we go all-out attack," said James. "Bournemouth are a strong side but I have heard they aren't too clever at the back. We need to make sure we keep attacking to keep the pressure off at the other end - and I think we can cause them problems.

"We want to win and get a third round draw as it will be great for the players, the fans and the club. And, you know me, I am always out to get a goal - and hate losing any game."

Strike partner Mullin has been linked with Sheffield Wednesday by some sources but chairman Eric Whalley said: "He is a good player and has been brilliant for us but I haven't a clue where that has come from."

Meanwhile, boss John Coleman is just concentrating on making sure his players enjoy the Cherries experience - and play to their best against Sean O'Driscoll's side.

"Hopefully we can get something from it and to bring them back to our place would be great. The pressure is off us though - they are the ones expected to win.

"I know they have a nippy left winger who we will have to watch and they have a good home record. But I believe we have a chance of winning it.

"It is the biggest stage for some of the players with 7 or 8,000 fans expected to be there. It will be the largest crowd I have ever been involved with.

"Picking the starting eleven is going to be difficult but, such is the spirit here, that anyone who isn't picked will be there with the squad cheering the team on."

One change might be enforced as midfielder Paul Cook is still struggling with a groin strain. "Obviously we want players like that in there because of their experience. It will be a blow if he doesn't make it," added Coleman.

Chairman Eric Whalley is just relishing the fact Stanley are once again in the spotlight. "I have never been involved in the FA Cup at this stage before so it is all new to me. It is a big occasion for us and it once again raises our image. It will be a good day no matter what."

  • THE third round draw will be made on Sunday after Burton Albion's clash with Hartlepool at around 3pm.
  • THE FA Cup replay, should there be one, will be at the Interlink Express Stadium a week on Tuesday.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist