Doncaster Rovers: Grant hoping Royle approval will pay off in FA Cup

Conor Grant
Conor Grant

Conor Grant was born one month before Everton’s so-called ‘Dogs of War’ wrote their own chapter in FA Cup history with a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the 1995 final.

Now the Liverpool-born 20-year-old is being inspired by that great side’s mentor as he plans an upset of his own for Sky Bet League One outfit Doncaster against Stoke on Saturday.

Grant, who has been on loan from Everton since October, is in close contact with Joe Royle who oversees the youth development programme at Goodison Park.

Grant said: “I’m in contact with Joe Royle, he rings me after the game and before to wish me well.

“It will be a great test for me against some top players so it is important I perform and give a good account of myself.

”When you’re growing up as a kid you want to play in the big games in front of the cameras and this is a big one for us.

“This year is the first time I’ve experienced it as a player and I got a massive buzz out of being involved in the first two rounds - I’m sure it’ll be even bigger on Saturday.”

Stoke boss Hughes is likely to ring the changes following his side’s packed festive programme but irrespective of the Potters’ line-up, Grant is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against some top names.

“We see them week in, week out on Match of the Day and we are familiar with the players so it does give us an extra incentive,” added Grant. “But our preparations will be no different and we will go out to win the game.”

Nor is the big-time any stranger to Rovers boss Darren Ferguson whose playing career at Manchester United gave him first-hand experience of his famous father’s reign at Old Trafford.

But Ferguson insisted it will be business as usual as his side look to build on two consecutive League One wins.

Ferguson said: “It’s a Premier League team and all the rest of it but we haven’t been approaching it any different - in fact it’s been slightly easier as we’ve watched these guys more often.

“There’s already a buzz around the place because our results have been good lately, so we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and put in a good performance.”