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Cheltenham Town video: Elliott relishing Everton opportunity

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 05, 2013

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STEVE Elliott knows how it feels to enjoy a positive result against Premier League high-fliers Everton.

The experienced Cheltenham Town defender made regular appearances against the Merseyside club during his spell in the top flight with Derby County, marking the likes of Kevin Campbell, Francis Jeffers, Joe-Max Moore and Tomasz Radzinski.

Elliott played at Goodison Park four times, but Monday's FA Cup third-round tie will be his first appearances against Everton on home soil.

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"I remember going up to Goodison Park early in my career and getting a couple of draws there, but that was a long time ago now!" Elliott said.

"I played against them a few times back in the day and I will relish a chance to play against them again.

"We are not going to get ahead of ourselves and say we'll win because they have so many international players, but it's the FA Cup, and Whaddon Road gives us a better chance than at Goodison.

"We are all really looking forward to it and if we can create a bit of history, then great."

Elliott could find himself marking the unmistakable figure of Marouane Fellaini.

The Belgian has established himself as one of the most awkward customers to deal with in the top flight, netting eight times this season.

Standing nearly 6ft 5in tall even without his trademark big hair, Fellaini is one of a kind, but Elliott believes some of the unusual physical specimens he deals with on a regular basis in League Two could help him cope with the threat of the 25-year-old.

"Everyone knows how strong Fellaini is, but you don't get many stronger than (Adebayo) Akinfenwa, I can guarantee that," Elliott said.

"But the big difference is that Fellaini is technically fantastic too and he's been one of most consistent performers in the Premier League over the past 18 months, so it will be a massive challenge.

"It would be great to pit my wits against him."

Everton boss David Moyes can also call upon Croatian Nikica Jelavic, who has seven goals this season, and Academy product Victor Anichebe, who scored the winning goal in Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Newcastle United.

Elliott is expecting Everton to field a strong side as they bid to go one step better in the competition than they did in 2009, when Moyes guided them to the final.

"If you look at the history of Moyes' teams in the FA Cup, it's very much their trophy and the one they go for," Elliott said.

"That means people like Fellaini and Jelavic are likely to play.

"Jelavic is an instinctive finisher, so with those two up front we'll have to be more than on our game to keep them quiet."

Cheltenham have conceded 11 goals in 12 League Two games at the Abbey Business Stadium.

Six of them came in heavy defeats by Southend United and Accrington Stanley, when Elliott was without his main defensive partner Alan Bennett.

"We have the best home record in League Two so we want to make it as hard as we can for Everton and keep it tight as we have been doing," he said.

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