A DAY out on the east coast is the last thing on Guiseley manager Mark Bower’s mind tomorrow.
The Lions head to Conference outfit Grimsby Town for a fourth qualifying round FA Cup tie at Blundell Park, mindful that a victory would see them enter the draw for the first round proper for the sixth time in their history. Their last appearance was in 2012-13 when they lost to Barrow after a replay.
While supporters are likely to bask in the glow of visiting the Mariners, who reached the semi-final of the cup back in 1939, Bower is here for business.
The Lions chief is also mindful of Guiseley’s 10-game unbeaten streak heading into proceedings, something he wants to preserve.
Bower also has memories of his side’s run in the FA Trophy last season in his mindset and has challenged the Lions to use their consummate display which accounted for Conference hosts FC Halifax last November as the template to follow tomorrow.
Not that Bower will be blessed with options. Alex Johnson, scorer of the only goal at the Shay that day is definitely out along with influential defender Danny Ellis and Danny Hall.
Ben Parker is also a doubt, with Bower now sweating over the fitness of Adam Boyes and Ryan Toulson.
On the task ahead, Bower said: “It’s the biggest test of the unbeaten record against a full-time professional football club who were in the Football League for a long, long time.
“They got in the Conference play-offs last year and are starting to pick up again this year and are full of a good, quality players who have plied their trade in the Football League.
“We know it is going to be tough, especially with the injuries we have and a few people suffering from illness as well.
“We will be a bit depleted, but the lads who go out there will have quality and should be able to put in a performance and a chance of getting a result.
“We aren’t treating it as a day out. Yes, it is nice for our fans going to a big club, but we are going to have to do a job and hopefully get a result.”
Bower’s assistant Danny Boshell is an ex-Mariners player and he more than anyone can appreciate the expectation at Blundell Park, whose fans are desperate for a return to the Football League and will be fully expecting the hosts to account for the Lions at the first time of asking.
While he is loathe to predict what will happen tomorrow, Bower is sure of one thing; that there will be cup shocks somewhere, with Guiseley’s quest being to make some headlines.
He added: “We were probably a bit lucky to scrape through against Droylsden in an early round and there will be teams from the lower league who beat Conference teams this weekend.
“We have got to try and make sure we give ourselves a chance of being one of those by defending well and working hard.
“I am sure their fans will be turning up expecting to beat us as we are a part-time football club and not too many Grimsby fans will have heard of Guiseley.
“My assistant Danny Boshell played a lot of games there, so knows what it is like and we know sometimes those expectation levels can go against you.
“We have just to make sure that happens and frustrate them.
“I remember going to Halifax in the Trophy last season and they had a really good home record and got a really good win and looked really solid and got a comfortable victory.
“We will be hoping to approach the game in a similar manner.”
FC Halifax travel to Chorley.