Liverpool tie would 'be fantastic' for Southend United

Chris Barker
Barker joined Southend from Plymouth in August 2010

Southend captain Chris Barker believes their potential FA Cup tie at Liverpool would accelerate the club's recovery.

The Shrimpers, who fought off numerous winding-up bids last year, will face the Reds in the third round if they can beat Oldham in a replay next week.

"With the situation the club has been in the last three or four years it would be fantastic," 31-year-old Barker told BBC Essex.

"If we can win the game next Tuesday night we can start thinking about it."

Boss Paul Sturrock, who has led Southend to the top of League Two, had said before Sunday's third-round draw that a tie at one of the Premier League's big sides could be worth £1m to the club.

It would be a welcome boost to the Roots Hall outfit, who have plans to build a new stadium, but 18 months ago only had 10 players on the books and were losing £100,000 a month.

"£1m would go an awful long way to sorting things out," added Barker. "But we've one game before that to get into that round.

"It would be a dream come true. Everybody wants to play at Anfield.

"We got a good 1-1 draw against Oldham on Saturday. It's going to be hard on their patch.

"Hopefully we can go up there and get a result and make a lot of dreams come true.

"To lead Southend United out on to the pitch at Anfield would be in the top two or three biggest games of my career."

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