Mick relishing Southampton challenge in front of nationwide audience
The BBC cameras are also showing the game live, with Saints arriving in Suffolk in third place in the Premier League after their victory at Manchester United at the weekend.
A nationwide audience of eight million is expected to tune into the 7.55pm kick-off, with the game also being shown on international outlets.
“It will be the biggest crowd I have seen here in my time as manager and there is something special about playing under the lights at Portman Road so it should be a cracking atmosphere,” writes the Town boss in his column in tonight’s matchday programme.
“It’s a great competition, the FA Cup. I love it. When I was a young pro at Barnsley I always managed to scrape a couple of tickets to go down to Wembley for the final.
“I have been lucky enough to go to 10, 12 finals maybe and they are fantastic occasions. I know it’s been said that it has lost some of its importance over recent years because of the rewards on offer in the Premier League. I understand that but it’s still a fantastic competition and we’re looking to progress as far as we can.
“Southampton have got some very talented players and Ronald Koeman has done a terrific job there this season, especially when consider that when he took over, players were leaving the club and it was all doom and gloom.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us tonight but it’s one we are looking forward to.”
There are still a few hundred tickets left with Southampton returning some of their allocation. Tickets can be purchased up to 5.00pm from Planet Blue or online at www.itfcdirect.com.
There will be no tickets available on the turnstiles to home or away fans.