NEWPORT County AFC midfielder Taylor Maloney believes the FA Cup is still the biggest competition in English football and he’s determined to help the Exiles progress to round two tomorrow night.

Maloney was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw at Grimsby Town on November 9 but he’s a big fan of the FA Cup and he’s hoping for a starting spot in tomorrow’s first-round replay at Rodney Parade.

And the 20-year-old, who is on loan from Charlton Athletic, says that the fact that the match will be shown live on BBC Wales gives the tie an extra edge.

Maloney told the club’s official matchday programme: “The FA Cup is a massive competition, still the biggest in English football.

“Every team in the country theoretically has a chance of being involved or even winning it – teams from grassroots, the lower leagues and some of them have gone really far in the competition.

“I still believe everyone takes the FA Cup seriously – no one wants to be knocked out of it early.

“As a player, you always want to win regardless of the match or competition.

“But when it’s FA Cup day, you know it’s going to be a great atmosphere and a great occasion for the fans and the players.

“Tonight’s match is on TV, which is something I’m not used to,” he added.

“The game against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup earlier this season was the first time [I’d played in a live TV match].

“I came on as a substitute and being on TV does make it a better atmosphere, you know you’ve got family and friends watching from home.

“A few of the boys watched the draw together for the second round and we know that’ll be on TV as well.

“They’re the games you want to be involved in. It gives you the opportunity to show how good you are as an individual and a team.”

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Maloney hit a hat-trick in County’s 7-4 win at Cheltenham Town in the Leasing.com Trophy last Tuesday and he hopes to have impressed manager Michael Flynn.

“Obviously, I haven’t played as much as I would have liked but I feel like I’ve taken my opportunity in the recent matches so fingers crossed that puts me in good stead,” he said.

“It’s going to be a big game. Grimsby’s manager Michael Jolley has been sacked since the first tie, so it’ll be on the players now to get a result.

“It’s a long journey for them so they’ll be wanting to come down and put in a good performance.

“But with our home record and the supporters behind us, we believe we can get the right result and progress to the next round of the FA Cup.”

Read the full interview with Taylor Maloney in tomorrow’s matchday programme.

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