COVENTRY City’s FA Cup-winning goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic believes Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy Final against Oxford will be a special day out for all fans of the club.
The popular goalkeeper, who made over 500 appearances for the Sky Blues between 1984–2000, played a key role in helping the club lift the FA Cup back in 1987.
Now 30 years on from the club’s finest hour, Ogrizovic will lead the team out onto the pitch this Sunday alongside manager Mark Robins.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Ogrizovic said he’s looking forward to seeing the new Wembley Stadium for the first time since it opened in 2007.
He added: “It’s going to be a special day for everyone involved. The players, management and particularly the fans.
“The competition has its critics but when you reach the later rounds it’s a cup everyone wants to win.
“It’s been a disappointing season, we all know that. But we’ll forget that on Sunday – let’s have a day with smiles on our faces.”
The majority of Coventry players have never played at the national stadium before, and Ogrizovic admitted he doesn’t know how either team will react to the big occasion.
He said: “You find out about players in big competitions. How will we react, how will Oxford react? No one knows.
“I remember before we went out on the pitch in ’87 we were told to keep it tight for the opening ten minutes – two minutes later we were a goal down.
“If we concede an early goal it’s vital we don’t drop our heads. We need to keep pushing – that’s what we did, and we came back strongly and won.
“I get nervous for a golf game so they’ll be a few nerves. I find it easier as player as destiny is in your hands.
“When you’re watching on and not playing the game it’s a lot harder.”
The Checkatrade Trophy has had its critics this season, however Wembley will host more than 70,000 fans on Sunday for the competition’s most important game.
The former keeper said although the Checkatrade Trophy isn’t the biggest honour in English football, it is the biggest competition for League One and Two clubs.
He said: “It’s there to be won. There’s more than 70,000 reasons to go there and give it our best shot on Sunday.
“A cup final is a cup final – it doesn’t matter what competition it is.
“The most important thing is there will be two teams fighting tooth and nail. We want the players to feel at home, respond to the atmosphere and produce the best.”