FA Cup replay: Lions boss Cox deflects pressure on to League Two high fliers Accrington Stanley
GUISELEY manager Paul Cox insists that all the FA Cup pressure will be firmly on the shoulders of opponents Accrington Stanley this evening as the Lions strive to make their own piece of history.
The Nethermoor outfit are seeking to book their berth in the second round of the competition for the first time in their history tonight at the Wham Stadium – with the prize at stake being a trip to manager Paul Cox’s former club Mansfield Town in the second round.
The Lions were unfortunate not to seal their progress in the first instalment in West Yorkshire on Bonfire Night with only an inspired performance by Reds keeper Aaron Chapman earning a replay for the Lancastrians in a 0-0 draw.
Heading into the replay, Accrington – riding high in second spot in League Two – will start as clear favourites, but Cox is hoping that the notorious unpredictability of the cup can yield a surprise this evening.
Cox said: “There is no pressure on us.
“With Accrington’s form this season, the bookmakers will have it down as a clear home win. The beauty about the FA Cup is that anything can happen.
“We will not set up defensively. We will try and score goals and win the game.
“If we do not, then we will move on.
“We went into the first game to go and win it. For 90 minutes, we had a go and tried to score goals and that is what we are going to do at Accrington.
“That is how I want my team to play. We will try and create a bit of history.
“It’s the best cup competition in the world and to see one or two upsets is what it’s all about.
“We gave it a right good go in the first game and there is nothing that should make us apprehensive about the replay.”
Several Lions players enhanced their reputations in the first game, none more so than striker Mike Fondop, denied a couple of goals by the outstanding Chapman.
Cox admits that he has taken a bit of a punt on the former Oxford City forward and believes that if he can replicate the performance that he gave against Accrington on a regular basis, he will come under the radar of league clubs.
Cox said: “We have dragged Michael from nowhere. When he has an understanding of what he really is, you will see the proper Michael Fondop.
“He needs a lot of work, he is a bit raw at the minute. But he has masses of potential.
“If he keeps putting in performances like that, things will happen, goals will come and he will be looked at by clubs higher up in the league.
“Sometimes Mike frustrates everybody. But he is an honest, great lad and one that can progress and get even higher.”
Meanwhile, Cox confirmed that his players will be practicing penalties ahead of tonight, with the fastidious Guiseley chief leaving nothing to chance.
He added: “We will always prepare right and do our homework. We will always do what we feel is needed to win a game. If it is penalties that could decide it, then we will practice them.
“I always want the players to be in a position when they look at the bench and know that we have planned for the ‘one per cents’.
“That one per cent, who knows, I am an eternal optimist. Stranger things have happened.”