COLCHESTER United midfielder Ben Stevenson hopes to topple former club and previous FA Cup winners Coventry City in tomorrow's first-round showdown at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The 22-year-old spent 13 years at the Ricoh Arena, joining their academy at the age of eight and making 48 first-team appearances for the Sky Blues.

Now, in an intriguing twist, he is set to cross paths with them again - except this time in opposition.

Stevenson has the bit between his teeth and said: "It'll be interesting and a weird one for me but good to see some familiar faces.

"Coventry are doing well this season, just in the play-off zone and hoping to go up.

"From my point of view, it's great to see because they were my club for so long.

"I don't think there are many players still there from my time. Maybe three or four but a lot of the staff are the same and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

"I watched the draw and as soon as it was made, I started getting messages.

"I received a text from a good friend of mine, who plays there, saying 'seeing you in a few weeks - we're going to smash you'.

"It's all good-natured but incredible we've drawn them, especially as they're such a big club with real FA Cup pedigree.

"When I was there, the goalkeeping coach was Steve Ogrizovic (who won the cup with the Sky Blues in 1987).

"He was always bringing it up and spoke about it quite a lot."

Stevenson hopes Colchester can take their sparkling Carabao Cup form into the FA Cup.

Having already eliminated Premier League pair Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur, the U's are now preparing for an eagerly-anticipated quarter-final at Manchester United.

"We really wanted to do well in the cups this year," said Stevenson, who left Coventry for Wolves early last year before immediately joining Colchester on loan and then signing on a permanent basis in January.

"At the start of the season, the manager told us the club hadn't had a good run for years and that was something we wanted to put right.

"We've played really well in the Carabao Cup and now we've been rewarding by drawing Manchester United.

"It means we're still in three competitions (including the Trophy) and we're looking forward to pushing on and hopefully getting through to the second round of the FA Cup.

"It's such a big cup with so much history.

"We'd love to get through to the third round, at least, and play another top team.

"Even though we've played a lot of games, we've coped with it well.

"Everyone wants to play as many games as possible and we'd obviously rather be in the cups than not."