Notts County boss John Sheridan talks Posh, cup magic and Stead

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A finalist with Sheffield Wednesday back in 1993, John Sheridan has had plenty of experience in the world’s oldest knockout competition. But the Notts County gaffer told us he still feels the “buzz” of the Emirates FA Cup.

Ladbrokes News put our questions to the Magpies gaffer ahead of County’s Second Round clash with League One high-flyers Peterborough United, and found him in confident mood.

“Getting through against a team like Peterborough would give us a big confidence boost, and prove to us again that we can beat really good teams”, the 52-year-old explained.

And despite a difficult run of results during November, the man in the Meadow Lane hotseat has plenty of reason to believe his side can upset higher-ranked sides, saying:

“We’ve already taken something from games against some of the best League Two sides, like Portsmouth and Luton. When that pair came to our ground, we were better than them. So we’ve shown we can do it.”

But whatever the result, Sheridan’s demand of his players is simply that they give their all against the Posh.

“I’m looking for the boys to show a bit of endeavour and a will to win. I’ll feel more positive about things if we give a good account of ourselves in this tie”, Sheridan explained.

There’s no doubting the ‘will to win’ of the man in the Magpies dugout, with the experienced gaffer just as enthusiastic about this competition as he was during his 22 years on the pitch.

“Even now, I get excited about reaching the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup”, he admits. “If you’re in the hat then there’s a real buzz about the chance of a big tie. That’s the magic of the cup.”

Sheridan’s aim of a Third Round berth has had a major boost this week, with veteran hitman Jon Stead fit again after two months out injured.

And the return of the 33-year-old striker – who famously netted in Bradford City’s 4-2 cup giant-killing at Chelsea in January 2015 – is music to the ears of his boss.

“Jon is back in the squad and will be involved”, Sheridan explained. “That’s a huge boost, but whoever plays, all the lads are focused right now on trying to get the side out of the rut that we’re in.”

While we might not see the veteran make the starting XI, with the Stretford-born gaffer explaining “I’m not sure [Stead] is ready for a start yet”, his “hard work to get fit” could see a player who is “chomping at the bit” tear into the Peterborough backline.

In the match betting, County are 11/4 for victory over the Posh, while it’s 20/1 we see a repeat of the 2-0 margin by which the Magpies beat Boreham Wood in the last round.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.