Kettering Town manager Mark Cooper says he is desperate to beat Fulham in The FA Cup to erase the memories of his woeful spell at Craven Cottage as a player.
The Conference outfit will host their top flight opponents in the Fourth Round after they beat fellow non-League side Eastwood Town 2-1 on Saturday.
And Cooper admits he has terrible memories of Fulham after playing just 19 games for the club following a £40,000 move from Birmingham in 1992.
He joined Exeter City on a free transfer two years later and returned to haunt Fulham by scoring a goal that pushed them towards relegation to the old Division Three.
Fulham fans have flooded message-boards to show their anger at Cooper still burns strong, and the 40-year-old admits he can’t blame them.
“My memories of my time there are not very good at all,” admitted Cooper. “I didn’t settle – it was partly my fault, although there were other factors that played a part.
“It was such a tough period personally as I’d just left Birmingham, and in truth I should never have gone there. Of course, myself and everyone at Kettering would love to beat them.
“But I think it’s a different club now. There was no money there before Mohamed Al-Fayed came in as chairman, and it bears no resemblance to the club I knew.”
And Cooper has told Roy Hodgson’s side they won’t relish their trip to cramped Rockingham Road and is hoping the tie will be shown live on TV.
He added: “To have any chance of winning we’d have to be at home. It’s not the most salubrious of surroundings and not what they’re used to, so it should take them out of their comfort zone.
“And for a game that shows the real romance of The FA Cup I’d hope that a non-League team hosting a Premier League side would have to be live on TV.
“I saw that Hodgson said last week that the magic had gone out of The FA Cup. Well it certainly hasn’t for us, and especially so now we’ve drawn them.”