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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Bayliss happy with underdogs tag

FA Cup third round
Venue: Riverside Stadium Date: Saturday, 3 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Tees 95FM and BBC Radio Cumbria, score updates and text commentary on BBC Sport website

Barrow players
Barrow will be backed by 7,500 fans at the Riverside on Saturday

Barrow joint-manager Dave Bayliss is confident his side will enjoy their role as underdogs when they take on Premier League side Middlesbrough.

The Blue Square Premier outfit currently lie 95 places below their opponents in the league pyramid.

"We try and win every match we play but nine times out of 10 they will beat us," Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"But this is the cup. We've got nothing to lose this weekend and everything to gain for the game."

Bayliss, whose side have failed to win a league game since 1 November, has told his players to make the most of their trip to the Riverside.

"This is a one-off game and a chance for the lads to really enjoy themselves," Bayliss said.

"It might never happen again in our careers so we are going to enjoy every minute of it."

Bayliss has been critical of the Bluebirds' league form in recent weeks and has promised changes in the transfer window.

"We've had a bit of a go at them," he said. "They know what me and Darren [Sheridan, co-boss] are like."

"We are moaners but we just want what's best for them and for the club and they have underachieved in the league but that's not to say that they haven't done themselves proud since we took over and I just hope they enjoy the Middlesbrough tie."

Financially, it's brilliant for the club. It's a big day for the people of Barrow too. The pressure is all on Middlesbrough


Barrow co-boss Darren Sheridan

The Bluebirds' cup run this season has also brought a welcome financial boost to the club who almost went out of business 10 years ago.

Sheridan said: "Financially, it's brilliant for the club. It's a big day for the people of Barrow too.

"The pressure is all on them. As long as the players give 100% and do themselves justice that's all we're asking."

Barrow will be backed by a travelling support of 7,500 fans at the Riverside - the biggest away support since the stadium was opened.

Bluebirds director Tony Keen told BBC Radio Cumbria: "On the club side it's been immense and the people behind the scenes have really pulled together and delivered for us.

"It's been hard work with Christmas and the run of games we've had. It's been big game after big game but we're getting used to it.

"To be honest that's what we're here for and I don't think anyone around the club would have it any other way."

Barrow defender Steve McNulty believes the tie may have been a distraction for the players following a run of just three points from five Blue Square Premier games since the draw was made.

"It [concentrating on the league] has been difficult," he said. "Our league form has took a knock a bit.

"Obviously we're not going to win the FA Cup and staying in the league is the most important thing but we've made it here so we just have to go on and enjoy the day."

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see also
Middlesbrough v Barrow
31 Dec 08 |  FA Cup
Barrow boss eyes agony for Boro
31 Dec 08 |  Barrow
FA Cup third round draw
29 Dec 08 |  FA Cup
York cool on Barrow Brodie link
19 Dec 08 |  Barrow


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