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Heartbreak drives Furman’s fight

    Dean Furman is desperate to soothe the pain of his Africa Cup of Nations heartache by leading Oldham to FA Cup glory.

    The South Africa midfielder was left close to tears after missing his spot kick in the quarter final penalty shoot-out defeat by Mali just three weeks ago.

    But the 24-year-old bounced back to help the League One side claim a replay against Premier League Everton last weekend and is now targeting a shock win on Wednesday.

    “Missing that penalty was heartbreaking and I was very sad, but the good thing about football is that there’s always another game around the corner,” he said.

    “It was a shocking feeling. I’d practiced the day before and was always going to stick my hand up to take a penalty.

    “I knew where I was going to stick it but the keeper has saved it. These things happen.

    “But to come back to a game like that against Everton was amazing.”

    Furman was on international duty while his Oldham teammates were busy dumping the might of Liverpool out of the FA Cup in the fourth round.

    But he returned with an all-action cameo role as a 66th minute substitute to help his side fight back to claim a 2-2 draw and secure a money spinning replay at Goodison Park with the further prospect of a quarter final tie against Wigan on the horizon.

    “That game against Everton was fantastic and we always knew we’d have a chance,” he said.

    “Now we’ve got a replay at Goodison and it will be a great occasion under the floodlights there.

    “Do we have a chance? Of course we do. The odds have been against us throughout the FA Cup from the very first game at Doncaster.

    “If we can go there and put on a performance then we’ve got a good chance of surprising a few people.”

    Furman also revealed that he spoke with Everton and former South Africa international Steven Pienaar after the game, even managing to get his hands on the player’s shirt.

    “It was the first time I’d met him,” added Furman, who scored for Oldham in the 2-1 win at Stevenage last Tuesday. “We had a good chat and it was nice to meet him.

    “He’s a great player, but they’ve got so many great players and we’ll have to be on form to stop them in the replay.”

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