Chelsea v Morecambe: The ex-West Ham starlet aiming for a huge cupset

Instead, on Sunday, and some five-and-a-half-years after being signed by Slaven Bilic, he will be part of a Morecambe team aiming to pull a famous FA Cup giant-killing.  

Hendrie had dreams of such games becoming the norm when making the move from Hamilton as a 20-year-old.

He got himself a flat in Canary Wharf and was part of an exciting group of emerging players at West Ham.

But his hopes of establishing himself under Bilic never materialised. He never even made an appearance at first-team level – instead being sent on loan to Southend and Blackburn before joining Southend as a free agent in 2017.

“I spent two years and it was decent, to be fair,” says Hendrie. “Obviously I had loans so I didn’t get as much playing time, but I don’t regret anything. It was good move.  

“It was one I could never turn down at the age I was and where I was at that stage.  

“It has done me better because it made me more experienced. I’ve no regrets about that, I’m just happy I did it.  

“It was exciting and nerve racking because you come from up here, from a small club. The first-team changing room, you’re like ‘Wow.’ I was so nervous. But I loved it.”

Hendrie adds: “Mark Noble was there, (Manuel) Lanzini, (Dimitri) Payet, (Pedro) Obiang and Adrian. 

“Declan Rice – I played with him a lot in the under-23s. Grady Diangara, who’s now at West Brom and Reece Oxford. It was a great group.  

“Some of those boys have gone on to do brilliantly.

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“With Declan, you knew he would go on to do good things. You could just tell. He was playing centre-back a lot when I was there. When centre-backs can get the ball out their feet, you know they are going to have a chance.  

“He was unbelievable with the ball at his feet. His skills were so good. His application off the park as well. He did a lot extra. I could always tell he was going to be a top player.”  

Hendrie, now 25, joined League Two Morecambe in August and has been a key figure in their promotion push.  

They are currently five points off leaders Carlisle despite having to enter a 10-day isolation period after Christmas following a Covid-19 outbreak.  

It has seen their last two games postponed – meaning they haven’t played since Boxing Day.  

Concerns their tie with Chelsea would be in doubt have been allayed after the squad returned to training this week.  

While Morecambe have had their feet up, Frank Lampard’s side have endured a crisis of form.  

Four defeats from their last six games has seen them drop from first to ninth in the Premier League and prompt speculation over the Chelsea manager’s future.  

A chance for Morecambe to inflict more pain on Lampard – or is it a case of beware the wounded animal?

Hendrie is not making any proclamations about potential upsets.  

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“It’s not because they’re a wounded animal, it’s because it’s Chelsea,” he says. “I watched the game on Sunday (against Manchester City), but it wasn’t because we were playing them, it was because the football was on.  

“It’s a big day for the club and a big day for us. We are going to go there with no pressure on us.  

“We’ve got to go there and do the best we can. We’re going to go there and just enjoy the day and just embrace it. Some of us will never get that chance again.  

“We’ve done well. We’re seventh because two games were called off. We’ve got two games in hand as well.  

“It’s a chance to show people why we’re doing well, why we’re at the top end of League Two and just go there and try to showcase what we’re about.”

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