Hull wary Barnsley have enjoyed surge under Flitcroft

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WITH Yorkshire this season boasting their highest tally of clubs in the FA Cup fourth round for 14 years, the hope going into the weekend is that the county will be celebrating a famous victory or two.

Leeds United’s tie with Tottenham Hotspur is arguably the pick of the round from a White Rose perspective, but supporters of Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town will all be hoping for some Cup cheer come 5pm today.

There is, of course, a chance that none of this quartet will make it through.

But there will definitely be a representative from within the Broad Acres in the fifth round thanks to Hull City hosting Barnsley at the KC Stadium.

For Tigers assistant manager Steve Agnew, the fixture is of particular significance with the 47-year-old having spent the first nine years of his playing career at Oakwell.

He said: “The draw is a special one for me. Barnsley are my hometown club and I was there for nine years as a player.

“It is a good club that means a lot to me. It has been a tough year for Barnsley, but since David Flitcroft was appointed (as manager), they have had a surge of good results.

“They have beaten Burnley (in the third round) and Leeds (in the Championship) this month. They should also have won at Ipswich.

“It will be a tough game, but let’s hope we can get back to scoring goals and get through a difficult challenge to reach the last 16.”

Asked if he had a favourite Cup memory with the Reds, Agnew replied: “I scored against Southampton in one of my early games for Barnsley (in the 1984-85 season).

“It was a big cup tie and a big upset (as Barnsley won 2-1). Southampton had Joe Jordan, Peter Shilton and Mick Mills, a hell of a good team at the time.

“But we went down there and beat them. It is a great memory because I was only 18 at the time.

“To score at The Dell past Shilton, who was the England goalkeeper at the time, was something that will stay with me forever.”

Hull beat Barnsley earlier in the season and Agnew is hoping for a repeat today. He added: “I will have a few family coming across to the game, just as they did in the league when we won 1-0.

“The loyalties will be split a little bit, but my side of the family are very much Hull City supporters. The main thing is we want to get through to the last 16.”

With Yorkshire not having had six teams still in the Cup at this stage since 1998-99, today’s all-White Rose affair offers both clubs a chance to fly the flag for the county.

Hull edged past Leyton Orient in the third round after a replay, the first game having seen Steve Bruce make nine changes and need a stoppage-time equaliser from Nick Proschwitz to claim a 1-1 draw.

On whether Hull will be tempted to make as many changes this time around, Agnew said: “We changed it around for the first game (against Orient) but then other players went back in for the replay.

“Players want to play, especially when we have had no midweek game. They will all be champing at the bit.”