OSSETT Albion head coach Phil Thompson will have little trouble motivating his side for tomorrow’s FA Cup Third Qualifying Round clash at Hinckley United (kick-off 3pm).
As well as the Dimple Wells club being just two wins away from the First Round Proper of the prestigious competition, comments from United fans on the club’s online message forum have given Thompson extra reason to cause a bit of a cup shock this weekend.
Evo-Stik Division 1 North side Albion will understandably be underdogs going into an away game against opposition two steps higher in the football pyramid.
But Thompson is confident his men can prove to the home fans at De Montfort Park that his side will be no pushovers.
“The pressure is all on them,” he said.
“I’ve been looking on their club message forum and fans have been treating the draw against us as a golden ticket into the next round, and I don’t think that’s down to the colour of our shirts.
“I don’t think the players and management will be thinking like that, but it tells me that if we start well for the first 20 minutes their home advantage can soon turn into a disadvantage for them.”
Hinckley play in the Blue Square Conference North but have won just one of their nine league matches so far this term, leaving them rock bottom.
They’ll still be favourites to progress but Thompson believes his men, who progressed with an unexpected win at North Ferriby in the last round, can do the same in Leicestershire.
“If we perform well, get about them then there’s no reason the game can’t go our way,” he said.
It’s our fourth game away in this competition but I’m not bothered about that.
“When you go the distance we’re going to Hinckley it’s better to be playing there on a Saturday and coming back to our place on a Tuesday night if we draw. To do it the other way would be a bit of a nightmare for us.”
Albion enjoyed cup victory on Tuesday night when they beat Selby Town 2-0 at Dimple Wells in the first round of the West Riding County Cup.
Richard Tracey and Alexander Booker scored the goals to see Albion through to a second round contest at home against Division 1 North rivals Goole on Saturday, November 3.
Victory tomorrow would continue what Thompson says has been a “pleasing” start to the season for his men.
Promising young players have been central to the team’s progression and it’s a route the club will continue to take while Thompson is at the helm.
“The lads have been getting as the season’s gone on,” he said.
“A lot of them are young lads and some will no doubt move on to play at a higher level, but that’s what we’re all about.
“We want to develop players and we want to gain a reputation for bringing young players through, developing them and moving them on.”
Unless and FA Cup replay is required, Albion will visit Harrogate Railway Athletic on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest football news from around the district.