Darren Sheridan out to avenge Steve Bruce snub as Barrow eye cup upset

FORMER Clyde and St Johnstone player Darren Sheridan has revenge in mind as he leads non-league Barrow to the Stadium of Light for their FA Cup third-round tie with Sunderland.

More than 8,000 fans are expected to make the trip to Wearside today for another high-profile cup tie, a year after the Bluebirds travelled to then-Premier League outfit Middlesbrough. Barrow co-manager Sheridan believes the experience will hold his side in good stead but admits he has more than just a cup upset on his mind when he goes head-to-head with his former manager Steve Bruce.

"I played under Steve at Wigan," he said. "He is the one who released me so I am hoping to get a bit of revenge. But it's one of those things, one of those jobs you've got to do. It's not nice for any manager to let players go but you've got to take the rough with the smooth."

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Reading midfielder Brian Howard is hoping he can recreate the famous FA Cup giantkilling from his time at Barnsley when the Royals welcome Liverpool to the Madjeski Stadium today.

The 26-year-old silenced the Anfield crowd with a last-gasp winner for the Tykes in a fifth-round tie in 2008, and believes another upset against Rafael Benitez's men would provide a much-needed boost for the Berkshire club.

He said: "I can remember us all going nuts in the dressing room and it was all a blur. No-one could really believe that we'd done it. I was captain at the time and, as we were stuck just a mile from the car park, I dragged everyone off the bus and we went to the pub to celebrate with the supporters. They couldn't believe their eyes. We had half an hour with them and then went back to celebrate with our families. If we get the win and I score on Saturday, I'll buy the whole pub a pint."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects Leeds United to be back in the Premier League within a couple of years.

Leeds head to Old Trafford for the first time since 2004 tomorrow, eagerly looking forward to the chance to show what improvement has been made under Simon Grayson. But the West Yorkshire outfit are aware an FA Cup tie is one thing. The ultimate aim is to make the visit an annual event once more. And in Grayson, Ferguson believes Leeds have the man who can turn that dream into reality.

"They will not be too far away from the Premier League in the next couple of years," said the United manager. "When you look at the position they are in at the moment in League One, they look certain to be in the Championship next year. And with the motivation and drive that is coming from the manager, they have a great chance of going further."

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan

faces a daunting task this weekend if he is to steer Coca-Cola Championship Middlesbrough past big spenders Manchester City,

while Burnley manager Owen Coyle will see his side's accustomed role as underdog reversed for today's trip to MK Dons.

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Elsewhere, Birmingham manager Alex McLeish heads to the City Ground today to cross swords with his former Motherwell player, Billy Davies, who is in charge at Nottingham Forest.

Top-flight clubs Everton, Bolton, Fulham, Portsmouth, Stoke and Wolves face potential banana skins against Carlisle, Lincoln, Swindon, Coventry, York and Tranmere respectively.