Church ready for Liverpool showdown

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Reading striker Simon Church has warned Liverpool not to underestimate his side as they look to dump the seven-time FA Cup winners out of the competition on Wednesday night.

Brian McDermott's Royals will swap the lower reaches of the Coca-Cola Championship for the bright lights of Anfield as they look to make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after they earned a third-round replay following the 1-1 home draw on January 2.

Church, 21, who opened the scoring at the Madejski Stadium, said: "You always want to play in the big stadiums and against the big players and it would be great to score at Anfield. People think it will be a walkover for Liverpool but we have to have the belief that we can go there and give them a game."

He added: "We can take a lot of confidence from the first game because they obviously put out a full-strength team and we kept them quiet for a long time. We also created a lot of chances so we can only take that confidence in with us."

Church is widely regarded as one of Wales' brightest prospects and already has six caps.

The club recently gave him a new three-year contract in an attempt to ward off reported interest from Barclays Premier League sides and he is not fazed by the prospect at coming up against one of the top flight's most experienced defenders in Jamie Carragher.

"Jamie Carragher is just a name at the end of the day," said Church.

"Obviously he has great experience and has played at the highest level but it's a chance for me to go out there and show what I can do.

"It's atmospheres like that you want to play in front of week in week out so for me and for the rest of the lads we'll take a lot out of it and hopefully we'll put on a good show."

McDermott, who has been in temporary charge of the club since Brendan Rodgers' departure last month, will be without ineligible loan signings Andy Griffin and Gunnar Thorvaldsson but otherwise has a full squad to choose from.

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Simon Church
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