WATKISS - SHOW THEM WHAT YOU CAN DO!!
Rather than worrying about joining footballing folklore as a giant that has been killed in the FA Cup, Mansfield Town boss Stuart Watkiss sees tomorrow's Sky clash with Team Bath as a great opportunity for his young team to show the country what they can do.
It will be the first time since March 2000 that Mansfield have been televised live and Watkiss, who took charge immediately after the Stags last appearance in the FA Cup, believes the cameras will prevent his side from being complacent.
He said: "Obviously there has been a lot of attention for Bath but it is also a big game for us because we are not used to this sort of attention.
"But our lads will be determined to show people what they can do and if they don't there is a danger they will come unstuck.
"We need to get about them and impose our style of play on the game because we know they will be quickly out of the blocks.
"It's only in this competition that you could get a tie like this one and it is very unusual for us to find ourselves in the position of being the Goliath.
"If we can get to the third round then there is a chance we can get drawn against a big club and then the roles are reversed."
Watkiss, who took over from Billy Dearden when the current Notts County boss resigned following the 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat at Leicester City in January, is quite content to be playing at the university.
He also said the difference in league standing has not led to any complacency in his team's preparation.
He said: "We have had them watched twice and we will be treating them with exactly the same level of respect that we would any other team we play against.
"From a footballing point of view, I am quite happy to be playing at the university because the pitch there is said to be pretty good and the presence of an athletics track means that the crowd will not be close to the pitch like they are at other non-league games.
"But, we have a great opportunity to show people that Mansfield Town are better than a team that is bottom of the Second Division.
"It is a chance to prove to everyone we are not that bad."
Neil Moore is likely to return to the defence after missing last week's 2-2 draw at Notts County through suspension.
He will replace Tony Vaughan who suffered a serious knee injury against the Magpies and has returned to Nottingham Forest.
With Colin Little both unfit and unable to play because his club, Crewe Alexandra don't want him cup tied, Colin Larkin is likely to come into the starting line-up.
TEAM BATH (probable): Northmore, Watson, Wisson, Nichols, Tisdale, Ball, M Lewis, Cozic, Lavety, Sorbara, Prince. Subs: Gibson, Otto, Heiniger, C Lewis, Kamara-Taylor.
MANSFIELD (probable): Pilkington, Gadsby, Moore, Lever, Clarke, Lawrence, Williamson, Disley, Larkin, Christie, Corden. Subs: White, Bacon, Holyoak, Scott, MacKenzie.
Source: Evening Post
Latest | November 2002