Blackburn tie will be 'wonderful', says Oxford's Derek Fazackerley

Derek Fazackerley
Derek Fazackerley later returned to Blackburn Rovers as a coach

Oxford United assistant manager Derek Fazackerley says their FA Cup fourth-round tie against his former club Blackburn will be "a wonderful day".

The 64-year-old is Blackburn's record appearance maker, playing 596 games in defence from 1969 to 1987.

"I've got my own connections with the club going back years and years," he told BBC Radio Oxford.

"Michael (Appleton) was manager there as well, so from that point of view it's a tie you're looking forward to."

Championship side Rovers overcame Newport in their rearranged third-round game to set up the match with League Two Oxford at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, 30 January.

The U's upset Blackburn as a Fourth Division side to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the only time in their history in 1964 and Fazackerley, who was a central defender, says there are memories of that game in the boardroom.

Derek Fazackerley
Fazackerley bled for the Blackburn cause but will be plotting their downfall when they meet at the end of January

"I started playing there (at Blackburn) in the early 70's and played right through the 80's, and had many a tussle against Oxford - it was definitely in the black and white days," he joked.

"One of the pictures on the boardroom wall now is when they played in the FA Cup against Blackburn down at the old Manor Ground, when Oxford managed to beat Blackburn.

"It'd be nice if we get the opportunity to repeat it again this year - it'll be a wonderful day, but only of course if you go on and win the game."

Oxford pulled off the shock of the third round by winning 3-2 against Premier League side Swansea.

Former England number two Fazackerley is not the only link between the U's and Rovers, with Oxford boss Michael Appleton spending 67 days in charge of Blackburn in 2013 - but he claims the tie is not as special for him.

"Honestly, genuinely, I know people will try to make something of it but I was at Blackburn for two months - I'm at Oxford now, I'm in a good place," he said.

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