Glenn Roeder: The FA Cup has not lost its shine
- Credit: Archant
It is no surprise that Stevenage managerial adviser Glenn Roeder holds the FA Cup in such high esteem.
Having reached the 1977/78 semi-final with Leyton Orient and captaining QPR in the 1982 final, Roeder has plenty of cup tales to tell.
However, come evening Saturday after facing League One Port Vale he will want the Stevenage players to be able to recall how they defeated higher placed opposition in the competition.
Roeder said: “Everyone has been excited with the draw; it’s always good playing a team from a higher division.
“The players obviously want to test themselves.
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“We would like to get into Port Vale, get a winning result and be in the hat again for the second round.”
If the Boro players listen to the former Newcastle, West Ham and Norwich manager’s tales of his playing days they will be left in no doubt about the importance of the FA Cup.
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Roeder was part of Orient’s only side to ever reach the semi-final giant-killing Norwich, Middlesbrough and Chelsea on the way before being knocked out by Arsenal.
Four years later he went a step further and captained then second division QPR in the final which they drew 1-1 with Division One Tottenham at Wembley with both goals coming in extra-time. He was suspended and missed the replay with Spurs winning 1-0 courtesy of Glenn Hoddle’s penalty.
Roeder said: “I’m not one of those people that thinks the FA Cup has lost its shine, I know lots of people have, lots of managers and coaches, especially if you want the non British coaches and although they know about the tradition they probably don’t really know or understand how much of a tradition the FA Cup is.
“For me personally the FA Cup is a special competition steeped in history.
“It was quite an honour to lead a team out for an FA Cup final, something you dream about being a little kid in the park.
“For that to happen even once, more than 90 per cent of players never get that opportunity, I clearly remember it, and it was a special day.
“With Leyton Orient we were a championship side and reached the semi-finals.
“We ended up losing to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, but we had a great journey beating Norwich, Middlesbrough and then Chelsea in the quarter-finals; three teams out of the top division at the time.
“We were basically a home grown team, more than half the team were from Orient’s youth team and we had great team spirit and togetherness.”
Stevenage will be looking to maintain similar traits as they go into their clash at Vale Park in good form having beaten Mansfield away in the league last weekend.
Of the week’s work going into the tie, Roeder said: “The players again have always trained well; I have never come away from a week’s training thinking I’m really concerned about the game on Saturday.
“They are a great bunch of lads they all get on well with each other and if there’s one or two mistakes during training they are not frightened either to dig each other out and everyone takes it in the right spirit.”