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Hastings vow to give it a go
Sean Ray insists Hastings United will go for it today when they bid to pull off a massive FA Cup upset against Championship high-fliers Middlesbrough.
United are the lowest ranked team left in the famous competition and 25-1 outsiders to become third round giant killers at the Riverside.
But Ray points to a pre-season friendly win over Boro’s Championship rivals Albion as proof that his minnows can be a danger to any side when they attack.
Player-boss Ray said: “We are expected to get hammered. But it is a one-off game so you can never write anyone off.
“These are games that don’t come along too often in your life. To just go there, sit back and not get out of your own half in the hope you can earn a draw is pointless. It’s once in a lifetime so we need to have a go. That’s what we did against Brighton in the pre-season friendly.
“We scored three goals past Brighton by having a go and being positive “I am not in any way under estimating what a mammoth job we have against Middlesbrough but we are in the game at the moment.
“It is not a foregone conclusion. There is no way Middlesbrough are just going to turn up and win, they are going to have to beat us.
“And there is no way my players are just going to roll over and get beaten. They are going to give everything to get something out of the game.
“If we do go up there and sit back, lose two or three nil and never get out of our half, then nobody is going to remember that and it would become a disappointment.
“I would rather go there and lose 5-2 or 6-2, get a couple of goals and have a go at them.”
Hastings solved their goalkeeper crisis yesterday by signing Liam O’Brien on an emergency loan from Barnet.
The 21-year-old, who had a previous loan spell with Eastbourne Borough while at Portsmouth, began the season as Barnet’s No. 1 before losing his place to Graham Stack.
Hastings will be roared on by almost 1,000 supporters on Teesside and Ray admits the seaside town has caught Cup fever.
He said: “You can’t get away from it. It does not matter where you go – shopping, walking round the town – everyone wants to talk to you, talk about Middlesbrough and congratulate you.”