Roberts relishing Newcastle test

Boro skipper eyeing up battle with England striker Carroll

BORO captain Mark Roberts is relishing the chance to pit himself against England striker Andy Carroll after Stevenage were paired with Newcastle United in the FA Cup.

Boro beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0 on Saturday and were awarded a home tie against Chris Hughton’s Magpies in the third round.

Roberts, pictured below, said it was ‘exciting’ watching Boro in the draw for the third round and that fans would have plenty of good memories from the last time the two teams met in the fourth round of the same competition in 1998.

“It’s always exciting to see yourselves in the Third Round. Everyone in that draw wants a big, big club and we got one,” Roberts told The Comet.

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“You don’t get the chance to come up against Premiership footballers week in, week out so to come up against an England striker like Carroll is going to be a great experience.

“You also look at the back where there’s Sol Campbell and he’s an England legend.

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“There’s a lot of history for Stevenage having played them before and taking them to a replay and we’ve got a chance.

“I’m sure lots of fans remember last time they met in the FA Cup. There are a lot of fond memories for that and it was a big moment in the club’s history but the club has moved on since then.

“You never go into a game thinking you can’t win it but we’ve just got to put that game to bed for the time being and concentrate on the league for now as there are lots of games between now and the Third Round in January.”

Boro have extended the loan deal of Birmingham City midfielder Jay O’Shea, whose deal was set to end this week, until January 16, and last week Graham Westley brought another midfielder, Josh Walker, in on loan from Watford Town.

Debutant Walker scored from a free kick against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday – Yemi Odubade got the second – and Roberts said he was not surprised Walker hit the target after seeing his set pieces in training.

“He came in on Friday, and all credit to him,” Roberts said.

“I thought he was fantastic against Wimbledon and he was named man of the match on the day. He works hard on set pieces and has shown that quality in training so it wasn’t a surprise to see him score.”

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