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Adam El-Abd Pre Barnet

4 November 2016

Skipper looks ahead to the FA Cup

Shrewsbury Town Captain Adam El-Abd is hoping to build momentum from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Southend, when they take on Barnet on Saturday.

The Skipper scored the all-important first goal of the game last week and will now hope to build on that performance this weekend in the cup.

Adam started by talking about last week’s game and his wonder goal at Southend.

“It was obviously nice to score,” smiled Adam. 

“My goal scoring record isn’t exactly prolific and in the manner it came it was a nice one. It was one of them where you hit 100 and 99 go here, there and everywhere, but I caught it sweet and it flew in.

“The boys were telling me it was a clearance and I’ve been trying all week to say it wasn’t, but it was nice.

“It nice to score in the first game for the new Gaffer and it was nice to get a point on the board in his first game. So, hopefully that will start the ball rolling for what’s to be.”

Town are back in FA Cup action on Saturday for the first time since they faced Manchester United in the Fifth Round last season. El-Abd believes the tournament has lost none of its glamour over the years.

“It’s going to be tough, it’s the FA Cup,” admitted the Egyptian defender.

“League form and what league you are in all goes out of the window because it will be on the day and we will be ready for it. We are preparing ourselves for a tough battle and it will be nice to get into the next round of the cup.

“You grow up watching the FA Cup final and the Semi-Finals on the TV and you always dream of playing in the final. It’s a great competition and I always love playing in it.

“With Brighton we knocked out Newcastle a couple of times in back to back years and then got knocked out to Arsenal in the last minute losing 3-2, but it was a good day and it’s one that will live long in the memory.”

Barnet currently sit 15th in League Two after an up and down season, but Martin Allen’s sides are always competitive and it will be a tough game for Town, in what is Paul Hurst’s first home game in charge.

“Physically it will be difficult and if you can’t stand up to that you are going to find it very tough afternoon,” said Adam. 

“We’ve got to be able to make sure that we are ready for war first of all. We’ve got to be prepared to head the ball. We’ve got to be prepared to use our brains sometimes if they are overly big and we can’t always win it, and we’ve got to be good on the ball, because if we aren’t good on the ball we will keep giving it back to them and they will keep pumping it back into our back. So, we’ve got to be good at a lot of things.

“It’s a big test, but one we are looking forward too. We can’t be looking at anybody as underdogs at the minute because we haven’t won many games this year, so we’ve got to approach this like our cup final and hopefully if we do that we can end up victorious.”

Paul Hurst has only been with the squad for around 10 days, but El-Abd has already noticed a difference in training and he’s hopeful that it will lead to improved performances on the pitch.

“He’s been really good,” Adam said.

“Him and Doigy have come in and given the place a lift. It gives everyone a fresh start because all the boys that haven’t been involved get a lift and that in effect raises standards throughout the club.

“They’ve come in and had a positive effect on training and it’s been tough, but it’s been good. It’s been enjoyable and tough and that’s a good balance to have.

 “We’re working to improve and the Gaffer’s ideas are obviously going to come through and it’s going to take time.

“Last week was a good start and this week we’ve made strides on the training pitch again and hopefully we can get the win, get through to the next round, which will snowball confidence for Tuesday and then again next Saturday.”

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