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Oxford United relishing cup trip to Leeds
Oxford United are relishing the chance to go up against npower Championship opposition after drawing Leeds United in the Capital One Cup.
The U’s memorably knocked out League One outfit Bournemouth on penalties in the first round, earning them a place in the draw.
A trip to Elland Road later this month is their reward and the players cheered at the training ground when the game was confirmed.
Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke was one of the key players against Bournemouth, saving Marc Pugh’s penalty to help win the shoot-out.
The 30-year-old is keen to prove the U’s can handle playing a team from the second tier.
He said: “Every player in our league will tell you the same, so to pit ourselves against a big Championship team will be good for all of us to show what we can do.
“It will be my first time going to Elland Road, as it will be for a few of the boys, so it will be a good experience and we’ll enjoy it.
“We’ll give it a go and will back ourselves to put in a good performance – you never know what could happen.”
It will be United’s first visit to Elland Road since losing an FA Cup tie 4-0 there in January 1998.
More than 18,000 watched Leeds beat Shrewsbury Town 4-0 in the first round and a similar gate would net the U’s a useful windfall.
Owner and chairman Ian Lenagan said: “It won’t be millions, I think Oxford made about £50,000 out of the West Ham match (in 2010).
“At its minimum, this game will be worth half of that, but could easily be worth £50-60,000, which isn’t insignificant.”
Michael Duberry was thrilled to be paired with one of his former clubs.
On Twitter, the veteran defender, who is recovering from Monday’s neck surgery on a prolapsed disc , even suggested he might attend the game.
He tweeted: “We have drawn my old club #LUFC in the cup. I might travel up to watch the game as its always a great atmosphere at Elland Rd at night #OUFC.
Before adding: “I am buzzing the lads got a draw at a big club. I’m sure they will give a great account of themselves and may even cause an upset! #OUFC”