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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008, 07:17 GMT
Part-timers target FA Cup history
Rafael Benitez and Shaun Gale
Benitez has won many trophies, Gale was won many plaudits
Havant & Waterlooville manager Shaun Gale is preparing for his club's biggest game in their history by insisting his team can beat Liverpool.

The Hawks are mid-table in the Blue Square South - six divisions below Liverpool - but Gale is planning more than just a fun day out on Saturday.

"Anything is possible in football and I would never send a side out just to enjoy it," Gale said.

"It's the FA Cup and we will be going out to win like we do every game."

The non-leaguers began the long journey from Hampshire to the north west at 0900 GMT on Friday on board the England cricket team's coach.

BBC South's Tom Hepworth, who is travelling with the team, said: "We stopped at Chievely Services on the M4 to pick up half the players, and they are all in really good spirits.


"Some of them are using camcorders to make a record of their trip, while the coaching staff are watching DVDs of Liverpool and working on tactics.

"Everyone is determined to show the Anfield crowd that they can play a bit, and that knocking Swansea out in the third round was no fluke."

Havant began their campaign against Bognor Regis in September and face their eighth game in this competition against a club chasing an eighth title.

The Hawks secured a fairytale fourth-round trip to the five-time European champions after knocking out League One leaders Swansea last week.

Sir Alex Ferguson has invited the squad to train at Manchester United's training ground before the game and the players will all be VIP guests at United's game against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Gale added: "We're going to go with the attitude that we can get something."

"The boys have come up with a fantastic achievement in earning the right to play a club steeped in history, with millions of pounds worth of players.

Havant fans celebrate their FA Cup third round replay win
Havant fans cannot quite believe they are on their way to Anfield

"But it can't be a day trip, we have to treat it like we treat all our games.

"The day that any team turns up at a football ground thinking they can't win should be the day they pack up.

"It doesn't matter who you play, you've always got to have that belief that you've got a chance. The boys have got nothing to fear."

The assortment of plumbers, plasterers, dustmen and taxi drivers are trying to achieve the biggest upset in the 136-year history of the tournament against the seven-time winners.

Club secretary Trevor Brock told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: "It's a dream come true for the players, and this kind of tie is what the FA Cup is all about.

It's like a World Cup final for us

Havant captain Jamie Collins

"Financially, it will be a fantastic boost for us - we will be about 300,000 better off. We have planning permission for a new stand, and that project will move forward far quicker than it might have."

Liverpool's Spanish international Xabi Alonso is fascinated by the fact that a Premier League club can face a non-league side in the Cup.

"In Spain you can only play teams up to two divisions below you," he said.

"But this is all part of the glamour and the prestige that the FA Cup has. This is why it is so interesting.

"It is the oldest football competition in history and it means so much to the supporters in this country."

Liverpool's superstars were held at home by Aston Villa on Monday, and Alonso insists the Reds will not be taking their FA Cup opponents lightly.

Havant players prepare for Liverpool tie
Havant's players are hoping to avoid a whitewash

"By reaching this round they deserve as much respect as we gave Aston Villa. It's going to be a dream come true for some of them and it will be interesting," he said.

"(Manager) Rafa Benitez always tells us about the opposition players and he won't change that this time.

"He will briefly show us about the way they play and the players they have."

Benitez added: "I have been trying to receive all the information on them. I sent out scouts and I was checking videos and, after watching them, I say that we must be careful.

"We must treat teams like this with a lot of respect so we are preparing properly and will take a strong squad."

Hawks captain Jamie Collins, a 23-year-old schools football coach more accustomed to crowds of 600, will lead his team-mates out alongside Steven Gerrard.

"It's like a World Cup final for us," he said. "To get to the fourth round and play Liverpool is a dream come true."

Liverpool v Havant & W'looville
24 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
Who are Havant & Waterlooville?
24 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
Havant & W'looville 4-2 Swansea
16 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
Liverpool 5-0 Luton
15 Jan 08 |  FA Cup


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