Swansea City midfielder Matt Grimes looking forward to friendly rivalry
9th January 2016
Matt Grimes will be looking to get one over on an old room-mate on Sunday as the Swans target a spot in the FA Cup fourth round.
England Under-20 midfielder Grimes could find himself going head-to-head with former team-mate Liam Sercombe as the Swans look to avoid a cup upset against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium (noon).
The pair played alongside each other in the Grecians' midfield before Grimes moved to the Liberty just over a year ago, while Sercombe joined Oxford in the summer.
And now they go face-to-face for the first time on opposite teams, with Grimes hoping to have the last laugh.
"It's going to be really strange playing against Liam because I've known him for quite a while. We were team-mates for a few years," said Grimes.
"We worked well in Exeter's midfield together, and we remain good friends. We've had a bit of banter since the cup draw was made, but it's serious business from here until the final whistle.
"Liam is a quality player and he's scored 12 goals already, which is obscene for a midfielder. So we are well aware of the threat he poses.
"But hopefully I'll be the one celebrating come Sunday afternoon, because the FA Cup means a lot to us."
Grimes is hoping to make his fourth appearance of the campaign, having last featured in the Premier League draw at Crystal Palace - his first top-flight start.
The Swans, who confirmed on Thursday that Alan Curtis will manage the team for the remainder of the campaign, have two crucial home games coming up in the Premier League.
But, as Grimes explains, the FA Cup is the prime focus this weekend.
"We were very disappointed to have gone out of the Capital One Cup at Hull earlier in the season," said the 20-year-old.
"The FA Cup is another opportunity for us to go on a good run in a knockout competition, although Oxford will fancy their chances against us.
"But it's up to us to deliver a professional performance and progress to the next round.
"Hopefully I'll get to feature and get some more minutes under my belt.
"This season has been a little slow for me, but I was delighted to get my first Premier League start recently. I want to really push on from that and get more appearances between now and the end of the season."
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