Justin Edinburgh: Cup upset possible if 'Spurs show sign of weakness'
|FA Cup fourth round: Newport County v Tottenham Hotspur|
|Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport Date: Saturday, 27 March Kick-off: 17:30 GMT|
|Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio London & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.|
Ex-Tottenham defender and Newport boss Justin Edinburgh believes the Exiles can cause an upset when Spurs visit Rodney Parade the FA Cup fourth round.
Leyton Orient boss Edinburgh was part of the last Tottenham team to win the competition in 1991 and played over 250 games for Spurs from 1990-2000 as well as managing County from 2011-2015.
He thinks Mike Flynn's side could surprise Tottenham on Saturday.
"If there is any weakness in their mentality I can see an upset," he said.
Rodney Parade 'a throwback'
The Exiles share Rodney Parade - traditionally a rugby ground - with Pro14 region Dragons as well as the original occupants, Welsh Premiership side Newport RFC.
Several managers have criticised Rodney Parade's pitch in recent seasons, but those issues have been addressed this season after the ground and Dragons were taken over by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The WRU installed a new £750,000 drainage system over the summer and the Exiles now have one of the better playing surfaces in League Two.
However, the facilities, particularly the dressing rooms, are a world away from the creature comforts of Premier League grounds, let alone Wembley.
Tottenham's players and especially their manager Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff will also have to deal with the close proximity of fans to the pitch and Edinburgh feels it could all play a part in a shock result.
"It (Rodney Parade) is a throwback, the pitch is a lot better than when I managed there, but the surroundings, it is still an old, terraced stadium and it will be hostile," Edinburgh said.
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"Even Pochettino won't have been in an environment that tense and I've spoken to some Newport people, they would have preferred the game at Wembley for the money, but they know if there is any chance of an upset it was the home draw.
"If Spurs players show any sign of weakness, there is a chance of an upset.
"To Tottenham I would say 'mentality is key'. If a Spurs player is weak that Newport crowd will sense it and they will play on it and prey on it.
"The people who say the magic of the cup has gone, that it has lost its romance, wait until they get to Newport on Saturday!
"The city will be amber and black and absolutely rocking."
The biggest game since Wembley
Edinburgh's crowning moment as a player came in Tottenham's 2-1 FA Cup final win over Nottingham Forest in 1991, but his top managerial moment also came at Spurs' current temporary home.
As Newport manager Edinburgh led the Exiles from the bottom of the Conference to promotion via the play-offs, thanks to a 2-0 success over Wrexham in 2013.
"It is a huge game for Newport, probably only the game at Wembley to get back in the league after 25-years would compare," he said.
"This is the biggest game, the biggest financial reward they will get for a long, long time.
"It's a game that can give the club stability for a couple of years.
"They have made Rodney Parade a fortress again and I am excited for both teams."
'Tottenham need to start winning trophies'
Edinburgh was part of the celebrations as Spurs left White Hart Lane at the end of 2016-17 and still has close ties with his former club.
He believes the current group of players must win silverware to build on the progress made under Pochettino that has seen them finish third and second in the past two seasons.
"They have a fantastic manager and squad of players, but they need to start adding silverware and the mentality of how to win things," he told BBC Radio London.
"The league is a tall order, but this year I think the FA Cup is something that could be theirs.
"A club of Tottenham's size want to be winning trophies, it is the next hurdle.
"For this group of players to win something together, it would really give them belief to become a real force, going into that new stadium.
"You are in football for memories, trophies and success and I am sure it is the same for Tottenham's players.
"Winning a medal at Wembley, for me, is second to none."