BE it the anguish of watching his beloved Liverpool beaten in the final by Wimbledon or the afternoon he helped Leeds register a famous victory at Old Trafford, Michael Doyle is always happy to wax lyrical about the FA Cup.
So, when the Sheffield United midfielder was asked to preview today’s second-round tie with Torquay, it came as no surprise to hear him pour scorn on claims the competition is now nothing more than another unwanted addition to an already congested fixture programme.
“Personally, I want to go as far as I possibly can,” Doyle said last night. “I know other people might tell you different but it’s a tremendous tournament and it’s not as if it adds another 10 or 15 games to your season is it.
“Playing in the cup is still a massive buzz for me, no matter who it’s against or where it is.
“The television always builds things-up and there’s always a buzz about the draw. I enjoy being a part of that.”
Doyle, who revealed his first memory of the tournament is “When John Aldridge missed that penalty against the Dons in 1988,” was a member of the Leeds team which stunned United’s namesakes from Manchester in the third round nearly two years ago before eventually being knocked-out by Spurs.
“What everyone forgets though is that we only got to Old Trafford after beating Kettering on a replay,” Doyle said. “We were fortunate to get a late equaliser at their place but I enjoy occasions like that.
“To be honest, I’ve quite enjoyed coming in at the first round stage and coming-up against clubs we wouldn’t normally play against.
“And, if we do get to the third round, then it’s going to feel like even more of an achievement.”
Danny Wilson, who accepted the task of restoring United’s fortunes following their relegation from the Championship last season, has more prosaic reasons for wanting to beat the visitors from Devon.
“Every match we play brings extra revenue into this club,” he said at Shirecliffe yesterday. “The financial situation is well documented and if you get a run going there are lots of extra little foibles to consider too.
“There’s the money potentially involved if you get a big tie, there’s the prize money full-stop and there’s also the fact that if you get a plumb draw it gives the supporters something good to look forward to over Christmas as well.”
Torquay, who beat Chesterfield in the previous round, made the long journey from Plainmoor 10th in the League Two table and in a rich vein of form. Wilson, whose side are fifth in League One, said: “We’ve had them watched, in fact I’ve watched them myself and they’re a good team make no mistake.
“That division is perhaps even more physical than ours and so, while Torquay have got that edge to them, they also like to try and play.
“They’ll look to pass it through the middle when they can rather than just go over the top.”
Doyle said: “We want to go straight through but if it needs a replay because you can never predict a game then so be it. Just so long as we go through.”
Meanwhile, Wilson as revealed that Marcus Williams has asked Reading not to block a move to Bramall Lane when his loan expires later this month.
“We’ve not spoken to them but I know the player has,” Wilson said.