FORMER Middlesbrough youth player Matty Dolan is aiming to be the hero again tonight as Newport County AFC target another big FA Cup shock.

Dolan came off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser against his boyhood club on January 26 and force this evening’s fourth-round replay at Rodney Parade.

And, with a home tie against Premier League champions Manchester City the prize for the winners, Dolan is hoping to help County upset the odds against Championship challengers Boro.

“Obviously, it was good to come on and get the goal up there in front of my friends and family,” said the 25-year-old, who hails from Hartlepool.

“The scenes at the end were brilliant and I think it’s what we deserved as well.

“The lads were fantastic on the day and I just came on and got the headlines.

“The draw has set it up nicely. If we can get through it will be a massive occasion for the club.”

A match against Pep Guardiola’s City is big carrot, but Dolan is not underestimating Middlesbrough.

“City is an incentive, but we’ve got to go out and do a job first,” said the midfielder.

“They’re a top side – a Premier League side, really. So we’ll have to be on top of our game.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for them, but I’ll be looking to get one over on them again.”

South Wales Argus:

Dolan played the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Grimsby Town, a result that saw County drop to 14th in the League Two table.

“Obviously, things didn’t go to plan on Saturday so we’ll be looking for a reaction,” he said.

“There were changes but we should be able to match anyone, otherwise there’s no point us playing at this level.

“Team selection depends on performances but the gaffer will pick the team that he thinks will get the win [tonight].

“And there’s no better game to bounce back and get the morale back up.

“We need to address our form in the league,” he added. “The FA Cup is fantastic, but we don’t want to be sat in the middle of the table. We want to be pushing in the right direction.”

And Dolan believes County can raise their game against Tony Pulis’ Boro.

“As players we shouldn’t treat it any differently, but the occasion is massive so you get that little bit of extra adrenaline,” he admitted.

“There’s going to be a buzz around Rodney Parade and the crowd can make a big difference. We’ll be looking for the fans to do that for us.

“The lower teams always raise their game when they come up against a bigger team under the lights and on the telly.

“The shackles come off a bit more when you’re pitching yourself against better players.

“We’ve got nothing to fear. We want to go out and prove a point and that can make a difference.”

The match could go to extra-time and penalties and Dolan would be happy to take a spot-kick.

“I’ll have to make sure I’m on the pitch and, if I am, I’ll back myself to take one,” he said.

“I’ve done it in the past so I’ll back myself to take one.”

But manager Michael Flynn does not want a shootout.

“We will practise, like we have done for previous cup ties,” said the Exiles boss.

“Everyone will be taking penalties in training but a lot of the time it comes down to who is feeling confident.

“I’d much rather somebody put their hand up than somebody who doesn’t really back themselves.

“I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that. I don’t want a penalty shootout. I want to win in 90 minutes.

“We’ve got a big game on Saturday [against Mansfield Town], so we need all our energy for that as well.”

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