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Brentford midfielder wants Chelsea to bring their Sunday best
Injured midfielder Kevin O’Connor wants Brentford to face the strongest possible Chelsea side on Sunday in the hope lightning can strike twice.
O’Connor captained the team to a Carling Cup penalty shoot-out win over a full-strength Everton side in 2010 – the last time a top-flight team visited Griffin Park.
And he did the same in defeat at then-Premier League Birmingham City a round later – a game that also went to penalties.
The 30-year-old, one of only three players still at the club to appear in both those encounters, is currently sidelined with a foot injury suffered in November and has been forced to look on from the press box ever since.
Boss Uwe Rosler has been keen to play down the importance of the match to his team, while the Blues only really have the FA Cup to play for after their Capital One Cup exit at Swansea on Wednesday – mean O’Connor may get his wish.
But that does not mean he has not given up hope on the Bees pulling off a shock – because it has happened before.
“It is a big game, but I think the manager sees it another way,” speaking on the Ealing (Road) Comedies podcast special this week.
“For him the league is the most important thing and he has been stressing that to everyone ever since the draw took place.
“Now the boys can just focus on it and I just hope they put out a very strong team and we have a good go at them.
“A few years ago we played Everton and they put out a strong side and that is what you want to see. You want to test yourself against the best.
“You don’t want to come up against Chelsea reserves or their U21 squad.
“We want to see all the big names.
“You never know, if we play to our potential and they play below theirs, there could be a shock on the cards.”
Despite Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to League One leaders Tranmere and Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient leaving the Bees six points adrift of the top two, O’Connor has not given up on the thought of automatic promotion.
And he could yet play his part after a return to jogging this week, along with rehab partner Farid El-Alagui.
“We’re in a terrific position, with 19 or 20 games left. We want to get promotion and definitely get in the play-offs,” he added.
“After Sunday we can put the cup behind us and concentrate on picking up the points to make sure we are in and around it, come the end of the season. Me an Farid are aiming to get back before the end of the season and see if we can help the team out.”
*The Ealing (Road) Comedies cup special is online at rttimes.co.uk. Follow Sunday’s game on Twitter at @rich mondtimes, @ealingroad and #BeesBlues.