Former UCD midfielder Gary Dicker wants the chance to claim a Premier League scalp in the FA Cup this weekend as Brighton host Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.
Dicker missed Brighton’s toppling of the Magpies in last year’s competition, as well as meetings with Liverpool in the fifth round and the League Cup.
Dicker experienced a 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa in the competition in 2010 at Villa Park, but a broken leg curtailed the chances to feature in the FA Cup last year and he is desperate to help the Seagulls to a cup upset against Alan Pardew’s men for a second year running.
The 26-year-old was a 55th minute substitute in last Saturday 3-0 win against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town, setting up Wayne Bridge’s goal in a victory that took them to ninth in the Championship table.
Dicker told RTÉ Radio 1’s Sport at 7 on Friday: "I suffered a broken leg against West Ham last year so I missed the two Liverpool games and the Newcastle game so I’ll be itching to play tomorrow. I’m fit and ready to go.
"Hopefully I have a good chance of playing, I came on last Saturday and did well against Ipswich so hopefully I’ll be in the starting XI tomorrow.
"It is a massive competition for the club and for most clubs in England. It was even more so last year when we knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup so I think it has a bit of added spice again.
"When you’re playing against a Premier League team, I think it gives everyone a lift naturally. The league is our bread and butter as they say but I think everyone looks forward to the cup games and none more so than the fans.
"The build-up of knowing that there is a Premier League club coming to town to play, everyone has an added interest in the game.
"Even with Newcastle, they have gone and signed players today in the window. They are always improving to sign world class players.
"We’re not too worried about who we play. It is just about putting on a good performance and getting a win."
Newcastle have endured a miserable season so far, languishing in 15th place in the Premier League and while the addition of Mathieu Debuchy will temper some of the hurt at the departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea, an early exit from the competition would add to the frustration at St James' Park.
Dicker is hoping take advantage of their poor recent results but knows that a backlash could also take place following the 7-3 defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League.
The former Student said: "Everyone looks at it like that but we all know football does not go by the form book.
"You have to win sometimes as you saw with QPR beating Chelsea the other night.
"There is a bit more added pressure on them because they are the Premier League team.
"They are struggling for a bit of form in the league as well so if there is a good time to play them, it might be now or it might not be because sooner or later they are going to win a game and hopefully it is not tomorrow."
Brighton are regarded as one of the most progressive Championship sides and harbour ambitions to gain promotion to the top flight this season.
Promotion from League 1, under the guidance of the highly-regarded Gus Poyet, and the opening of the Amex Stadium has brought plenty of positivity to the club and Dicker wants to test himself against top flight opposition on a more regular basis soon.
"With this league, it is one of the craziest league. I think the bottom team can beat the top team.
"You can never predict the scores every week but it is just about finding that consistency that Reading showed last year.
"I think they were eighth or ninth at Christmas and they pushed on and won the league. So definitely it is everyone’s ambition to get out of this league.
"The club here is geared up for it with the new stadium. We’re getting crowds of 26,000 every week. I’m sure the club is ready for it off-the-field and hopefully we can do it on the field."