Lincoln City’s Lee Beevers is a part of BT Sport’s team for this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final game against Arsenal and he believes a win for the Imps would be “the greatest FA Cup upset of all-time”.
Beevers hasn’t played for the Imps since facing Boreham Wood in late October, when a serious knee injury threatened to end his season.
The former Boston United player spent more than five minutes being treated on the pitch, needing gas and air to ease the pain.
Imps boss Danny Cowley revealed after the game that Beevers had suffered a ruptured patella tendon.
That meant that the defender has missed the majority of their historic FA Cup run, including wins over Championship clubs Ipswich Town and Brighton and Hove Albion and Premier League club Burnley.
Now their sights are firmly set on Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side and Beevers believes there is a chance the Imps can secure a place in a Wembley semi-final by taking the biggest scalp of their FA Cup run so far.
“There is definitely a chance, there is always a chance” insisted Beevers.
“Arsenal are in bad form and if we perform like we have been we can go there get something positive from the game.
“We will have great backing and we will have a plan set out by the management team.
“I think if we can come away with a result it would be the greatest FA Cup upset of all time”
After five months on the sidelines Beevers will once again have to settle for a watching brief on Saturday.
However, his pain will be eased by the fact he will play a part in the fixture as a pundit for BT Sport’s coverage of the game.
That role is something that he described as “a bit surreal”, although he hopes to have another chance at a cup run at some point in his career.
He revealed “It does hurt a little bit that I am not involved but it’s an injury, it’s part of football and we all get them so it can’t really be helped.
“The management team have kept me involved and you never know, something like this might come again in future.
“It’s all a bit surreal knowing that I will be involved with BT Sport, to be working with professionals that have done this for ages.
“If you had told me I would be doing this at any point in my career I would have just laughed”
It has been a successful season so far for the Imps, with the cup tie at the Emirates providing them with another high.
At present they sit top of the National League table and hot on the heels of their FA Cup tie against Arsenal is a Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final first leg at York City.
It is all a far cry from last season when the club finished mid-table in the National League.
The pre-season appointments of Danny Cowley as manager and his brother Nicky as assistant manager has rejuvenated the club.
The signs of change were immediate according to Beevers, as the Cowleys made an impact as soon as they arrived at Sincil Bank.
“They have brought their own ideas, they know what they want and they implemented that from day one.
“They spoke to everyone at the club from top to bottom and set out what it is they expected from us.
“The players bought into the way they worked and the expectations they had. It’s has been a fantastic season so far and the foundations are being put in place to get the club to where they want it to be”
The Cowleys, by their own admission, are demanding coaches.
That outlook has brought them success in previous managerial roles at Concord Rangers and Braintree Town, where they confounded the expectations of many critics and led the Iron to the National League play-offs last season.
Beevers believes that they have created a different environment at the club and one that ensures every player in the squad maintains high standards.
“They always want more from the players and that isn’t a bad thing.
“It keeps you on your toes, you can’t let those standards slip because if you do there will be someone ready to take your place.
“They do demand that we keep the standards high, you simply can’t relax, you can’t cruise through training and that attitude is taken into matches.
“It’s a different environment to anything I have worked in”
And just like his Imps team mates, Beevers will be working in a “different environment” when he makes his punditry at the Emirates on Saturday lunch-time.
Watch Arsenal v Lincoln City live on BT Sport 2 on Saturday 11th March from 5pm. BT Sport is your home unmissable football with live coverage of the Emirates FA Cup. Visit btsport.com for more info.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Reuters Media