Paul Hayes gunning for Tottenham revenge
Veteran striker has proud FA Cup scoring record.
Newport veteran Paul Hayes is gunning for FA Cup revenge against Tottenham.
Hayes scored twice at White Hart Lane last season as Wycombe threatened one of the biggest FA Cup shocks of recent times.
The Sky Bet League Two side led 3-2 until the final minute before Dele Alli equalised, and Wycombe were denied a money-spinning replay when Son Heung-min scrambled home the winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
“Building up to a game like that you hope that you’re going to do yourself proud,” Hayes said ahead of Tottenham’s fourth-round trip to Rodney Parade on Saturday evening.
“Some teams go to bigger clubs and sometimes change their formation and tactics, but Wycombe went there and didn’t change anything.
“We played direct, played up against them and caused them problems, and what happened at the end was one of those situations.
“The ref played over time and we just had to get on with it.
“I very much doubt if the Spurs fans will remember my goals, but hopefully we’ll try and cause them as many problems as Wycombe did.”
Hayes, a 34-year-old veteran of more than 600 senior games, made more headlines when he was out of contract in October and advertised his services on the business social networking website LinkedIn.
Newport manager Michael Flynn spotted the advert and offered Hayes a deal to the end of the season.
Paperwork problems prevented Hayes making his Exiles debut until last week’s League Two victory over Crawley.
But Flynn has been able to utilise Hayes’ wealth of experience to help coach his strikers, work which paid off when Shawn McCoulsky struck the last-minute third-round winner against Leeds.
“I honestly thought last year would be my last time against a Premier League club,” Hayes said.
“But I’ve been lucky enough to come here, and to play some part against Tottenham on Saturday is something to cherish.
“The cup’s been good to me in the past and, hopefully, it will be again.”
As well as his White Hart Lane double 12 months ago, Hayes scored FA Cup goals against Chelsea and Manchester City during his time at Scunthorpe.
And Hayes insists Newport can bridge the 71 places on the league ladder between themselves and Tottenham, who are fifth in the Premier League.
“Anything can happen and every year something does happen,” Hayes said. “So let’s hope it just might be us.
“Don’t get me wrong, ability-wise and everything else they’re better.
“But in a one-off game, a cup game, you don’t know.
“We’re at home, we’ve got a big crowd behind us, and we’re in good form at the moment. So why not?”