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FA & League Cups

Barnsley can shock Manchester United insists Moore

Darren Moore is looking forward to tonight's Carling cup match against Manchester United with almost messianic zeal. To rally the team for the big game against the champions the 35 year old Barnsley defender, who signed for the club last year, has been coaching the younger lads on what to expect.

"This is the game of their lives. It's a real David versus Goliath contest. I've told each of the lads to go out there and give it their all. Anything can happen in 90 minutes and even though United are favourites, in front of our home crowd an upset could be on the cards".

Moore knows only too well about the importance of the match to his manager Mark Robins. But to him that's all history.

"Tonight will be the biggest test of Mark's management career. His history with Sir Alex Ferguson is well documented. But since coming to Barnsley he's instilled a real sense of pride in the lads and he expects everyone to give it 100 per cent. We all know what is being asked of us."

Off the field Moore is on the management committee of the Professional Footballers Association and has taken an active role in their ‘Lets Kick Racism Out of Football' campaign. He believes the current controversy surrounding the Cardiff City player Michael Chopera shows that when it comes to racism, the football authorities can't take their eye off the ball.

"If a racial insult was thrown against Chopra then its right that the Football Association investigates. We've made a lot of progress in this country in the last 10 years in stamping out racism in the game but if you're not vigilant it will always rear its ugly head".

Moore also fully supports the new powers given to referees by the Union of European Football Associations to suspend a game or even abandon it all together if there is racist chanting or abuse on the pitch.

"In contrast to this country unfortunately racism on the terraces and the pitch seems to be growing in some parts of Europe. Referees need to make full use of their new powers to stamp it out. We've all seen English players being racially abused abroad but what makes it worse is that many of the European clubs and countries who are tolerating this sort of behaviour also have black and Asian players on their squads. It's got to be only a matter of time before a game it stopped. That will send out a very powerful signal that racism will not be tolerated in football anywhere".

Moore is also a proud Christian in a game which is not known for having many players who are open about their faith. Together with his former team mate at Portsmouth Linvoy Primus he has started a charity called Faith and Football. As a result both players and staff have approached him to help with problems ranging from bereavement to addictions.

"People only see players on the field and conclude that they're all very competitive or aggressive. But off it everyone is someone's son, brother, husband or father. They all have issues to deal with. I do try to help my team mates through my faith and I keep a confidence. I'm lucky - in my whole playing career no one has ever teased me about being a Christian. But if probably helps that I'm also six foot three and 15 stone".

For more information on kicking racism out of football see www.faithandfootball.org.uk and www.kickitout.org