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Raya recalls Cup heroics

The Rovers keeper remembers the game which put him in the spotlight

3 November 2017

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David Raya is looking forward to this weekend's match against Barnet in the FA Cup, a competition which has provided great memories for the Rovers goalkeeper.

During a loan spell with non-league Southport in 2015, Raya made headlines with a standout display against Derby County at the third-round stage.

After a string of superb saves, it took a last-minute penalty to eventually beat the Spaniard, and it's a performance he remembers fondly.

“It was a pleasing thing for Southport to get to the third round and play against a big club in Derby," he said.

“They were doing well in the Championship at the time and we thought we were going to get battered, but it was a great game.

“It was great for me and the lads who had worked so hard. It’s a great memory but we got beaten in the last minute with a penalty.

“I think that three-month spell at Southport made me grow as a player and a person.

“That spell helped me make my Rovers debut that year against Leeds, so I think I have to thank Southport for giving me the chance to play for them.

“I did well there, so that experience has helped me get to where I am now."

Looking ahead to this weekend's first-round clash with League Two side Barnet, Raya says he's expecting another tough game.

“It’s always nice to play in the FA Cup, it’s a big competition that everyone likes to play in," he added.

“You want to get a big team and cause an upset. We’re looking forward to Saturday, but it won’t be an easy game.

“Looking at last year’s competition, there were a lot of non-league teams that got through.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday, we’re going to try to go as far as we can.

“The gaffer said everyone is important in his squad, particularly now with a few suspensions and injuries.

“Everyone will have to play their part and that’s the importance of the squad – we need to be together.

“When your chance comes, you have to take it, both for the team and for yourself. Saturday will be good for those who haven’t been playing much.”

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