Balanta eyeing a big FA Cup tie if Dagenham can beat Salford City

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham and Redbridge during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Southend United, Vanarama Na

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham and Redbridge - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge attacker Angelo Balanta has come up against a star-studded Chelsea in the FA Cup in the past and hopes they can progress to give them a chance of another similar tie. 

The Colombian featured as his previous club QPR lost 1-0 to the Blues at Stamford Bridge back in 2008. 

Now he hopes to help guide Dagenham into the second round of the cup when they host Salford City in the first round at Victoria Road on Monday evening. 

“It’s another game. 11v11, we’ll look to obviously try progressing into the next round, and hopefully we can do that,” the 31-year-old said. 

“When I was at QPR, I was 18 or 19, I played against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. That is something that has lived on in me throughout my career. 

“Shaun Wright-Phillips, Hernan Crespo, Michael Ballack to say the least, but it’s always 11v11, hopefully the cameras don’t distract us and we can perform first and foremost then hopefully get a good result. 

“If we’re able to progress into the next round and get a big name team, it will be good for the club, and us as players to challenge ourselves.” 

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The forward revealed he prefers to lead out on the pitch rather than shouting in the changing room when asked if he will be trying to send a strong message out prior to the match. 

“To be honest I'm not that vocal, I do my talking on the pitch, and I like to lead by example. It’s one of those days that will hopefully be enjoyable. It’s 11v11, like I said before if we don’t let things distract us, I'm sure we’ll perform and hopefully get a result.” 

His two young daughters will be watching the match on TV rather than at the ground due to the fixture being swapped to the Monday night. 

“It’s what every dad wants, unfortunately they won’t be here, they’ll be tuning in on TV, cheer me on, and hopefully I can make them proud.” 

Balanta played a vital role in the fourth qualifying round as he notched a brace late on to help 10 men Dagenham fight back from 1-0 down away to league rivals Wealdstone. 

“I missed a penalty, but again that happens in games, I didn’t let it get to me too much. Luckily for me I popped up with the equaliser and the winner to get us into this round. 

“Hopefully if I'm selected I can produce that again on Monday.” 

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