BEING underdogs will give Darlington an edge in tomorrow evening’s FA Cup replay, believes manager Alun Armstrong having enjoyed some of his best days as a player when his side was not expected to win.

Quakers host Walsall with two divisions and 42 league places between the teams, the potential for a shock being why it has been selected by BT to be broadcast live, plus Darlington’s fan-owned background bringing extra interest.

A televised tie brings with it increased exposure, a consequence of which is that Armstrong has been in demand with various national media wanting his time, and something which usually comes up in such circumstances are his goals against Inter Milan for Ipswich Town.

Ipswich were certainly underdogs when they faced the Italian giants over two legs in 2001-02, yet Armstrong scored in both games, winning the first 1-0 and losing the second 4-1 at the San Siro.

“It was surreal. Being where I’m from I never thought in a million years I would get to that level, you dream of it,” he says, after being asked about it for umpteenth time of late.

“I have said to the lads that I’ve been involved as a player as underdogs and you give so much more, it’s really strange but you have that extra bit of energy and extra pace.

“I was always felt as an underdog that you could give a bit more.

“When I was at Stockport I scored a lot. When we were in League One we got to the League Cup semi-finals and I scored in two games against Everton.”

Although he scored goals for numerous clubs during his playing career, it does not bother him being associated with just two, though he added: “All that people remember is Inter Milan!

“When I went to Middlesbrough I scored against Sunderland on my debut, I scored two against Oxford in the game that got us promoted and that was the biggest thing in my career at that point. It was the last game of the season and me and Higgy got two each.

“I scored against Arsenal for Ipswich, so I scored a few goals against decent teams, but you never forget scoring against Inter Milan.

“They had Toldo in goal, Ronaldo played, Zanetti was right-back, Di Biagio in the middle of the park, so they weren’t a bad side, you can understand why people remember it!”

Right-back Ben Hedley has served a one-match ban so will return tomorrow, Armstrong expects Terry Galbraith to recover from a knee injury in time, and he is keeping his fingers crossed that Michael Liddle will be available after a groin problem.

Left-back Liddle was due to train last night, and Armstrong, added: “It’ll be a massive if Lidds is fit. It would be a huge boost to have both of our full-backs back.”