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Head Coach looks ahead to tonight's Carabao Cup tie

29 October 2019

Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi will urge his players to relish tonight’s big Carabao Cup tie – not fear it.

A League 2 club will definitely be in the quarter finals with Reds entertaining Colchester United in front of a sell-out at The People’s Pension Stadium, kick off 7.45pm.

There is a massive incentive for both clubs and Reds’ Head Coach will urge his players to enjoy the occasion.

He said: “For League 2 players this sort of game only comes around once or twice in their careers so you have to enjoy it, to relish it.

“Of course there is pressure, but it’s no different to every time they step on the pitch. There is a lot at stake but let’s enjoy the occasion, enjoy playing for a quarter-final place and work, work, work!”

Reds beat Colchester 2-1 in the League less than three weeks ago but that game won’t have any bearing on what happens tonight, according to the Italian.

“Both teams have played three or four games since then so a lot has changed,” said Gaby.

“We won the game, but we know Colchester will test us again. They have had two good results and we were very poor (against Swindon) on Saturday and we will 100% improve on that performance, I can assure our supporters of that.”

Colchester have knocked out two Premier League sides and Reds one to reach this stage.

“Both clubs deserve this chance to play in the quarter-finals,” added Gaby. “For us, I will have no complaints if we play as well as I know we can. Then, if it is enough great, if not we shake the hand of the opponent and say ‘well played.’

“The boys know Saturday was not acceptable. I fully expect a reaction and if we play to our capability then we have a chance.”

The biggest crowd since 2014 will be in attendance and the home fans can make a difference, according to the Head Coach.

“Two League 2 teams - it is a 50-50 game, but we are at home and we will have our fans with us. We need the same atmosphere as Norwich and Stoke which was unbelievable and helped us so much.”

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