Gary McDonald

View from the opposition

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Morecambe midfielder can't wait.

Morecambe midfielder Gary McDonald says the Shrimps will draw on the experience of their cup win over Blackpool when they head to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

The Npower League Two side set up a second-round tie in the Capital One Cup at the Stadium of Light with a surprise 2-1 victory at Bloomfield Road earlier in the month.

Lewis Alessandra and Andrew Fleming scored against the Seasiders, who have won three out of three in the league and lead the Championship following last weekend's 6-0 demolition of Ipswich.

Now McDonald, who made more than 150 SPL appearances for Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, is relishing the chance to try his hand against Barclays Premier League opposition.

“We're really looking forward to it, that goes without saying,” said the Scot ahead of the game.

“Getting a plum tie was always at the back of our minds and since the draw we've had to focus on the league.

“No-one expected us to win at Blackpool and it will be the same on Tuesday night.

“We got a great result there and carried it into the league with a great 3-0 win at Exeter.

“It's been a bit disappointing since then – we should have won at York last week and got a draw, then went down to two late goals at the weekend.”

McDonald says Shrimps boss Jim Bentley will set his side up with a disciplined outlook and expects the hosts to have the majority of the possession.

“We knew Blackpool were a good side and that they'd have a lot of the ball, and I'd expect the same against Sunderland,” he added.

“As a team we will have to work hard as a good, solid unit and make ourselves difficult to break down.

“We have to do our best to keep it tight and stay in the game. The longer that happens, the better for us.

“We're not daft; we won't go there expecting to dominate. We're going to have to defend well, especially early in the game and not concede any silly early goals.”

Interest in the game is high with tickets in heavy demand following the postponement of last weekend's home opener against Reading.

A sizeable cup crowd is expected to cheer on the Black Cats at home for the first time this season as fans clamour for a first look at Martin O'Neill's new signings.

Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher both joined the club last Friday and McDonald says potential debuts for the pair adds another layer of gloss to the fixture.

But he insists that the men from the Globe Arena won't be overawed.

“They are two great players and from our perspective it's great to play against multi-million-pound players,” he said.

“With the game having been postponed at the weekend, there should be more interest in this one which is great for us.

“We were hoping for a Premier League tie and we've got it. The manager has told us to just enjoy ourselves.

“No-one expects us to get anything – we'll enjoy the game in a great stadium and go out to play our game.”