Morsy: Great to test ourselves against Premier League opposition
Guest columnist Sam Morsy reflects on their historic FA Cup win against Premier League side Bournemouth...
It was a fantastic night at the DW on Wednesday, and a really great team performance against Bournemouth.
All the lads felt we should have put the tie to bed at the first time of asking.
And the replay was a game we all wanted to play in, to finish the job.
It was a really dejected dressing room after the game down there.
It really felt like we’d been defeated.
We knew we should have won the game, and that gave us the belief to do it again in the replay.
The gaffer made a few changes, and some of our best players were rested.
But there was so much energy throughout the team, and it shows the quality of the lads who are waiting to come in.
The manager’s got a huge dilemma now for Saturday’s game at Plymouth, if I’m honest.
I don’t think anyone of us expected the lads who came in to have performed as well as they did.
Without being disrespectful, it wasn’t a Doncaster at home – this was Bournemouth, in the Premier League.
The lads who came in did themselves proud, and I think that’s testament to the squad we have here and the bond within.
The gaffer briefly ran through the idea of leaving me out, but it was only a brief conversation!
These are the games you want to play in, you want to test yourself against the best.
Without being disrespectful to the rest of League One, you look at the team sheet against a Premier League side, and you see the names on there...
You want to test yourself against high-level players as much as you can, to see where you’re at.
The league is the priority for us – we obviously want to get promoted this year.
But these big FA Cup ties against Premier League side – these are the games you want to play in.
You don’t want to be embarrassed by them. You want to get after them and show what you can do.
Obviously it was great to get on the scoresheet against Bournemouth, to put us 1-0 up. I don’t get forward very often from midfield, certainly not as much as I’d like.
But with Anthony Barry (first-team coach), we practice finishing every single day at Euxton.
Even after a recovery session, we’re out there for 20 minutes...we have competitions for coffees!
And that’s why you do the practicing, so when you do get in those positions, you find the back of the net.
I’ve only bought the coffees once this season...so it’s not working out too bad for me!
It also underlines the team spirit in the side.
We have two-touch comps as well as shooting, and you can see how tight-knit the group is.
They missed a couple of great chances at 1-0, but there’s a lot of quality in their side and they’ll always create chances.
Getting the second goal, that gave us an extra lift, an extra 10 per cent, and the third goal finished off the game.
It’ll be a very different challenge for us at Plymouth this weekend, where we’ll go there as favourites.
But it’s been like that for the whole season to be fair.
Teams sit back against us, and if they draw they celebrate like it’s a win.
When we play against Bournemouth, or West Ham in the next round of the cup, the shoe’s completely on the other foot.
They come here expecting to win, and it helps us in many ways.
When teams attack us, it means we can hit them on the counter.
It’s so much harder when teams sit in and don’t give you that opportunity.
Obviously it will be slightly different against Plymouth.
They’ll sit back and we’ll have to try and win the other way.
The principles of what we do will be the same, but it’s just a different way of going about it.
We’ve done our homework, we know they’ll sit in, and that means we’ll have to be cute to break them down.
The challenge for us is to pick up where we left off against Bournemouth, to make sure we’re playing against big teams like that next year...and the year after.