TODAY’S FA Cup fourth-round tie at Middlesbrough will be extra special for Newport County AFC midfielder Matty Dolan, who admits he has a point to prove against the club where he failed to make the grade.

Hartlepool-born Dolan signed a four-year contract at nearby Boro as a 17-year-old back in 2010 and went on to captain the under-21 side.

But he never made an appearance for the senior team in a competitive game before leaving for Bradford City in 2014.

Today he returns for the first time with County in the fourth round of the FA Cup and he’s ready to show the Riverside Stadium crowd what they’ve been missing for the last five years.

“I’ve obviously got a point to prove,” said Dolan. “I didn’t really break through there so I want to go back there and win.

“It’s an extra bit of spice for me to go back and win. Hopefully we can get the result and it’ll be a nice one for me.”

Dolan is, however, thankful to his boyhood club for giving him the chance to become a professional footballer.

“I was there from the age of seven and I think I was 21 by the time I left after a few loans,” said the midfielder, who turns 26 next month.

“It’s the club that gave me the basis to play football. They invested a lot of time in me and I’ll always be thankful for that.

“I’ve got fond memories of the place but I want to go back there and get one over on them.

“It’s 11 against 11 at the end of the day,” he added. “We’ll show them respect but not too much. We’re going there looking to cause an upset.”

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Dolan was an unused substitute against Exeter City last weekend as he rested a niggling hamstring injury but he’s determined to start today.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “It’s been a bit frustrating but it’s a pretty special club to me and I’ll do everything I can to be out there on the pitch.”

The Amber Army will be swelled by a sizeable contingent cheering on Dolan if he does feature this afternoon, but his dad Gary will have to contain his excitement after a recent accident.

“When the draw was made my phone went mad. I told everyone to sort out their own tickets because I got that many texts and I would have been well out of pocket,” he joked.

“There’ll be a lot there. My fiancée’s family are going, all of my family are going, and all of my mates will be there.

“All my mates are Newcastle fans so they’ll be cheering us on.

“And they’re all in the Newport end so we’ll probably get an extra 30 or 40 fans with my mates.

“My dad went and fell over at home the other week so he’ll be there in his wheelchair, getting pushed along by my mum.

“He’ll be willing me on to score but he won’t be jumping up. He’ll be having a little dance in his wheelchair if I do get one.”

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