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The Shouting Men column with Gillingham defender Luke O'Neill

By KentOnline reporter

Cardiff City at home in the FA Cup is a good draw for us. Hopefully we get a full house and the place is rocking.

Personally, I would have liked Man U or someone like that, but we’ve got a Premier League side and it’s at home.

We fancy our chances of getting into the next round, as long as we play the way we know we can. If we do that then we have every chance.

Gillingham defender Luke O''Neill Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham defender Luke O''Neill Picture: Ady Kerry

The FA Cup is special and it’s anyone’s game.

There is more pressure on it if you are going into the game as favourites and we will just enjoy the moment and see where it gets us.

Slough did well against us on Sunday but that’s the FA Cup for you, you can be surprised in many ways, they had a good go.

DJ came up with a great goal and we are in the next round. I have been there a few times where we haven’t got the result against a lower league side and you just have to get on with it, make sure you stay right, stay positive and get the win, like we did.

Gills' matchwinner Darren Oldaker in action at Slough Picture: Ady Kerry
Gills' matchwinner Darren Oldaker in action at Slough Picture: Ady Kerry

You take a win any day. We didn’t play as well as we usually can but we just wanted to be in the next round and we are.

The pitch there was alright, it was 3G and different to what we are used to, but we trained elsewhere last week and tried to get used to it. It had a bit of a weird bounce and run to it but other than that it was okay. It was quite hard on your legs, a bit sore the next day, especially if you are not used to it but it is part and parcel of the game.

We beat Hartlepool in the first round, with my goal putting us ahead 3-2 in extra-time of the replay. It was a good goal to score, as the others were, and when there are free-kicks around the box I do like to get on them when I can.

It was a wild game, I think we deserved it in the end, it was a good win.

I don’t put a lot of practice in with the free-kicks. It winds a few of the boys up, they say ‘you never practice’, but I feel that if I over-think it, then I won’t put them where I do put them. I don’t really do much.

Luke O’Neill enjoyed his second trip to Hartlepool, a decade after making his senior debut there Picture: Ady Kerry
Luke O’Neill enjoyed his second trip to Hartlepool, a decade after making his senior debut there Picture: Ady Kerry

I have scored a few free-kicks, here and elsewhere. I think my favourite was the goal I scored against Burton. That was a good one. I don’t do tap-ins.

I have a good record at Hartlepool and it was where I made my senior debut with Leicester 10 years ago. It was a great feeling when I made my debut. It was the first time I had been back, the place hadn’t changed, it was nice to go back and get a win.

This Saturday we’re up against a good team and a club I know well.

I really enjoyed my time there on loan under Mark Robins, back in 2014, he was a good manager and I got on really well with him.

Luke O'Neill among those congratulating former captain Lee Martin after his goal against Scunthorpe United last season, in a 3-1 win Picture: Ady Kerry
Luke O'Neill among those congratulating former captain Lee Martin after his goal against Scunthorpe United last season, in a 3-1 win Picture: Ady Kerry

I moved there from Burnley and although they tried to extend the deal Burnley wouldn’t allow it.

It was a good time and I played a lot of games there. As a young lad you want to be playing games, that is valuable.

I was only in my early 20s, it seems so long ago. I have family in Leicester and one of the other boys Billy Kee, who I grew up with at Leicester, had just signed for them and we travelled in together.

It’s a good club but hopefully we will get a few going to the game, they get behind us and we get a win.

Read more from Luke in this week's Medway Messenger newspaper including his quickfire Q&A

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