Chelsea warning by Laws

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The Independent Online
Brian Laws, the Grimsby Town manager, sent an FA Cup warning to Chelsea's Glenn Hoddle as the pair prepared their teams for a fifth- round tie at Blundell Park tonight.

Laws boldly predicted that Hoddle's Chelsea team will follow West Ham as prized Grimsby scalps. "What we did to West Ham we can do to Chelsea," Laws said. "We caught West Ham twice and we can do it against Chelsea.

"I won't have to motivate my team for a match like this, but Glenn will. Premiership sides like to know what they are playing against. They are not too sure when they are playing teams outside the Premiership."

Hoddle acknowledges how difficult it could be to oust Grimsby and claim the prize of a sixth-round home tie with Wimbledon or Huddersfield. "Grimsby are an attractive footballing side and, as West Ham found out, it is a tough place to go," he said.

If the tie beats the freeze - it is subject to a morning pitch inspection - Hoddle will probably recall Erland Johnsen or Nigel Spackman as deputy for broken shin victim Eddie Newton in a midfield holding role.

Spackman reflected on the past and clarified his future as he waited to learn whether two reserve outings since recovering from foot trouble would be enough to earn him a first-team place for the first time since November. The player wants to stay at Stamford Bridge another season.

He was linked with a player-manager job at Millwall recently. "No one from the club contacted me, but I want to go into management eventually," confirmed the 35-year-old former Bournemouth, Liverpool, Queen's Park Rangers and Rangers midfielder, now in his second Stamford Bridge spell.