JAMIE Mackie says Oxford United’s encounters with Premier League sides earlier this season boosts their chances of pulling off an Emirates FA Cup upset today.

Karl Robinson’s men visit Newcastle United, where the attendance looks set to be approaching 50,000.

Few inside St James’ Park will believe the away side can win the fourth-round tie, but the U’s have already risen to the occasion this season.

They thrashed West Ham United 4-0 en route to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, where defending champions Manchester City were given a run for their money before inflicting a 3-1 defeat.

While both matches were at the Kassam Stadium, Mackie believes the experiences can only help this afternoon on Tyneside.

“Definitely,” he said.

“When you play against teams that are a lot higher up, especially Premier League teams, you go there wanting to give a good account of yourselves. That’s your main thinking.

“No-one has you down to win, but as players you never go into any game thinking we can’t win.

“There’s different targets you set your stall out for and you try to be competitive for as long as you can and hope you get a goal.”

Mackie is one of the few players in the United squad to have played at Newcastle, during his time at Queens Park Rangers.

He is also no stranger to a Cup run, having reached the semi-finals with Reading in 2015.

But while the 34-year-old is in the twilight of his career, there are teammates who will be looking to make a mark.

He said: “Certainly we have players who harbour ambitions of going to the top and playing in the Premier League.

“It’s a great opportunity for them, the FA Cup throws up the chance to show how good you are and you have an opportunity to play against top players.”

United are not planning to pick anyone who is an injury risk, although Cameron Brannagan will be assessed to see how a pain-killing injection in his knee has settled down.

One player who did not travel north is winger Rob Hall, who joined Forest Green Rovers on loan yesterday after signing a new contract to keep him at United until summer 2021.

Newcastle hope to hand debuts to new loanees Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro, but Andy Carroll, Emil Krafth and Florian Lejeune miss out through injury.


Newcastle Utd: from Dubravka, Hayden, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Almiron, M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Atsu, Joelinton, Darlow, Schar, Bentaleb, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Lazaro, Gibson, Allan.

Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Long, Dickie, Moore, Ruffels, Gorrin, Baptiste, Browne, Holland, Mackie, Fosu, Agyei, Lopes, Sykes, Kelly, Brannagan, Hanson, Mousinho, Stevens.