When you’re used to playing in some of the best arenas in world football, heading to Gander Green Lane was always going to be something of a shock.
But Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoyed every minute of our Emirates FA Cup fifth-round clash and says it brought back memories of the early days of his career.
“I grew up in League One so I’m used to these kind of stadiums on tough away nights on a Monday,” he said. “Having that experience again, I think that was one of the most exciting times I’ve had this season.
“Just coming off the bus and seeing people in such close proximity and everyone out in force to support both sides was a really good experience for me. I really enjoyed it.
“Obviously it was something certain players haven’t seen in England yet. I don’t think Alexis has experienced a game like that in a place like this! Everyone was really excited and looking forward to it.
“It’s obviously different to what we’re used to and it was another challenge for us to get our heads around.
“Even being on the bench first half, just looking around and seeing all the fans really enjoying themselves was great. And then to have a few moments at the end with the Sutton players in the dressing room was really nice – that’s what the cup is all about.”
We will face another non-league side, Lincoln City, in the quarter-finals and Oxlade-Chamberlain is already looking forward to the tie.
“It’s another really exciting one for both sides,” he said. “After what they did at Burnley, I’m sure Lincoln will be right up for that. So we’re going to have to go into that one with very concentrated minds and get the result.”
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Rob Kelly21 Feb 2017