Insider: Portsmouth Cup opponents Maidenhead not as bad as recent results suggest

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The News' Lewis Mason chatted with Maidenhead Advertiser sports reporter Daniel Darlington ahead of Pompey's FA Cup clash at the Magpies.

Here's what he had to say about Maidenhead's chances of causing a Cup shock...

Maidenhead United manager Alan Devonshire

Maidenhead United manager Alan Devonshire

Maidenhead are not as bad as their recent results suggest. 

Portsmouth might come here and think it's going to be easy, given their form and Maidenhead's recent displays, and that is something Alan Devonshire’s side are clinging on to.

But I don't think there's too much hope from the fans, really.

The club are talking a good game.

Indeed, former Portsmouth striker Ryan Bird hopes Maidenhead might be underestimated a little bit because of the recent form.

But I think the Cup win over Chippenham Town in the last round papered over a few of the cracks.

They didn't really deserve to go through on the replay, Maidenhead were probably second best that night and Chippenham should really have beaten them.

The Cup run has been a bit of a distraction and now with the BT Sport cameras coming, it should be a decent pay day for the club.

I think everyone is looking forward to it, hoping they can put the league form to one side and have a real go at Portsmouth.

Yet the Magpies are not playing well defensively at the moment, they haven't been on it.

Losing to Salford City and Leyton Orient kind of knocked their confidence a little bit.

As did the defeat to Havant & Waterlooville, although they lost their goalkeeper in that game and didn't have one on the bench.

Nevertheless, their confidence is so brittle at the moment that when they have a setback like that, it tends to lead to a bit of a capitulation.

I think defeat to Dover Athletic last Saturday, a team who hadn't won in 14 games, really shows you how low confidence is at the moment.

Bird, as a former Portsmouth player, will look to be a threat.

He's only scored once this season, but he did score 16 goals for Dover last term.

If he can raise his game, and if they can find a way of playing a system to suit him, he could be a threat.

Ryan Upward has been injured, but when he's playing in midfield the results do seem to be more consistent.

I think he's a bit touch and go after an ankle injury.

Much depends on whether Devonshire thinks this game is more important than a league and he may rest Upward.

I think Dev sees this as a good day for the club, but he probably thinks next week's league game against Harrogate is more important.

I think he'd rather pick up three points at the moment. It sounds silly to say, but he may be thinking like that.

James Comley is a Montserrat international and when he plays well he pulls the strings.

Josh Kelly, as a young player, burst on to the scene this season – scoring quite a few goals and did well for a few matches.

He's exciting if he plays, but the team has been chopped and changed a lot.