Hull City

Irvine: Embrace Underdog Tag

15 February 2018
Jackson Irvine is hoping to be part of another memorable cup upset when the Tigers face Chelsea in the Fifth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Friday night.

The Australian international was part of the Ross County side that shocked Scottish football when beating Celtic 3-1 at Hampden Park in the last four of the League Cup en route to lifting the trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

Nigel Adkins’ side head to Stamford Bridge to face the reigning Premier League champions as massive underdogs, a role the midfielder has urged his team-mates to embrace.

“I’ve been involved in upsets before, the big one being when I was at Ross County and we beat Celtic in the Scottish League Cup semi-final,” he said.

“There’s nothing better than doing it in the cup, so hopefully we can go down on Friday night, show plenty of belief and enjoy the occasion.

“These are the types of games that you’re involved in football for. Everyone wants to be involved in fixtures like this.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to play against a Club as big as Chelsea, who have a lot of talented players in their squad.

“Most importantly though, it’s an FA Cup tie that will hopefully provide us with the chance to cause an upset.

“Everyone would admit our main focus is on securing Championship safety, but at the same time a game is game and we want to win every game we’re involved in. We’re going to go out at Stamford Bridge and give it our all to try and get a result.

“We know we’re going there as underdogs, but everyone loves an underdog. Cup competitions can always be a bit unpredictable and, if we can stay in the game long enough, hopefully we can go on and nick it.

“There’s no pressure on the team, we just have to stick together and give it our all and if we do that, you never know what can happen.”

Irvine was speaking ahead of the tie after attending the signing session, along with Angus MacDonald, Seb Larsson, Fraizer Campbell and Nigel Adkins, held by the Club at the KCOM Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The quintet were joined by hundreds of Tigers fans, who queued for hours to get autographs and pictures with their heroes, and Irvine was only too happy to meet the black and amber faithful.

“It’s always nice to get out into the community and see the fans, especially during the school holidays,” he added.

“It’s great for the kids to get the chance to come and meet a few of the players. It also helps to break down the barrier between the players and the fans, which is good.

“I got to sign a couple of old retro jerseys which were very cool, and the whole event ran very smoothly. It was great to be part of it and great to meet everybody.”