It's a big game - for both teams

Last updated : 03 January 2003 By Luke Thornhill
Venables, who replaced David O'Leary as manager of Leeds United in the summer, says that he will be preparing his side for tomorrow the same way he always does.

"I have been in the game long enough to know how difficult these games are, and the Scunthorpe cup game will be no different," he said.

"It is a very big game for Scunthorpe, but it is a huge one for us as well.

"I know enough about Scunthorpe going into this game, I have had reports back and they have done very well in recent weeks."

Leeds midfielder Eirik Bakke says he will not be underestimating Scunthorpe tomorrow either, and that none of the players want a repeat of last season when they were beaten by second division Cardiff City at the same stage of the competition.

"It's going to be very hard to play against a team that will battle against us, but we've learnt a lot from last year," said Bakke.

"We were top of the league last year, so nothing can be taken for granted. We have to be at 100% to go through to the next round."

At Scunthorpe there has not been much time to get excited about the match due to a hectic league schedule, but Iron manager Brian Laws feels that this has been the best way to prepare for the glamour tie.

"It's been ideal preparation because the more you think about it, the more scared you become," he said today.

"The players can enjoy the game, there is no pressure on us as it is all on Leeds.

"I want my players to go walk out their tomorrow with the biggest smile ont heir face.

"I am sure they will go out and work their socks off for everyone in Scunthorpe.

"They will be trying to put Scunthorpe on the map, and get this club talked about nationally in the right manner."

One Iron player with something to prove is Mark Jackson, he featured in Leeds United's first team before dropping down two divisions to join Scunthorpe United in 2000.

"Glanford Park is a tight ground and i don't think Leeds will enjoy coming here," he said.

"I know the lads are all looking forward to playing against some of the big stars from the Premier League.

"We will give it our best shot and who knows what will happen."