FA Cup - Oldham's new star ready to shine

Teenager Jonson Clarke-Harris is ready to answer his manager's call and become Oldham's FA Cup hero at Anfield.

Back in November, when the Latics entered this year's competition at the first-round stage, boss Lee Johnson said he envisioned Clarke-Harris, 19, writing his name into the club's folklore in a similar manner to the way Matt Smith did last year.

Twelve months ago Smith, a former University of Manchester student, scored twice as the League One club eliminated Brendan Rodgers' Reds at Boundary Park and the towering striker then jumped off the bench to net again to force a replay against Everton in the next round.

Smith has seen gone on to bigger and better things at Leeds since and Johnson predicted Clarke-Harris could tread a similar path by becoming this season's FA Cup success story.

And the former Coventry trainee, who scored four goals last month, welcomes such expectation.

"That's something I want to happen," he told Press Association Sport.

"I want to do it for me but at the same time I want to do it for the team as well.

"Anfield is a great place to go and play and I think we have to enjoy it."

Such is Clarke-Harris' confidence that walking into an environment such as Anfield is unlikely to phase him.

He added: "I'm very excited to be playing at Anfield but I'm not going to let the big game and the big players put me off my game.

"I'm just going to do the normal things that I have been doing, see what problems I can cause and maybe score a goal or two."

The striker is one of a number of Oldham players who, along with Johnson, were not at the club when either Smith performed his heroics in the fourth round or when Liverpool won 5-1 at Anfield twelve months earlier.

But it is not as if the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard will be unknown quantities to the current squad.

"You see it on Match of the Day every week," said Clarke-Harris.

"You see how good the defenders are, the strikers, the midfielders. You can blatantly see they're all world class.

"It's how we play on the day. There are some players that - on their day - you can't stop but if we're on our game anything can happen really."

Clarke-Harris may be considered Latics' in-form man in front of goal, but there is little doubt about which Liverpool player is enjoying a large purple patch.

A New Year's Day goal against Hull took the Uruguayan's tally for the season to 20 goals in just 16 games.

However, should Suarez play, Clarke-Harris has backed Oldham's 21-year-old defender James Tarkowski to enhance his own growing reputation by rising to the challenge of stifling him.

"I like him as a player the things he does," the teenager said of Suarez.

"His movement, his first touch, everything he does I really like. But, at the same time, I can't say we're the same type of player because we're completely different.

"When he's scoring every week, there's not much you can do. But I think if Tarky's on his game he can have him, to be honest, but we'll just have to see what happens on Sunday."

Boss Johnson will hope Rodgers elects to give Suarez a rest after seeing first-hand just how good the 26-year-old can be.

Johnson's Bristol City met Ajax's Suarez in 2009 with the latter opening the scoring in a 4-0 win.

The Latics boss still remembers how Suarez and his team-mates had given him the runaround that day, but has perhaps wisely refrained from divulging just how silly he made him look to his Oldham players.

"No, he definitely didn't tell me about that," said Clarke-Harris. "I'm going to have to ask him about that one!"