PAUL COX is urging his Guiseley side to seize the moment and make further FA Cup history at his old stamping ground of Mansfield Town this afternoon (2pm).
The Lions will be backed by a sizeable travelling support from West Yorkshire, who have taken advantage of the club’s generous offer to provide free transport for tomorrow’s second-round encounter against the Stags – managed by ex-Leeds United boss Steve Evans – and Cox is hoping for another famous day in the club’s history.
A momentous evening on November 14 saw the Lions register a dramatic penalty shoot-out success in their first-round replay at more League Two opposition in Accrington Stanley – and how everyone connected with the club would cherish something resembling an encore.
The prize at stake would be an historic place in the hat for the third round of the competition for the first time ever and while Cox is loath to make predictions, he is making one ahead of his return to the Stags, who he managed for three-and-a-half eventful years from May 2011 to November 2014.
Namley that some league sides will come a cropper against non-league teams during the second-round weekend.
Cox said: “We know what we are going to come up against – a team who have aspirations to get promoted. But as I said before the last round, come the Monday, there will be some giant-killings.
“That is what the FA Cup does and if we approach the game right and Mansfield don’t – as sometimes happens with league clubs – then you can cause an upset.
“We want to bounce back from Saturday because the lads were disappointed as a whole group with the performance and know they can do better and we have had a talk about it.
“The pressure is on and the bookies will make Mansfield firm favourites, but you never know. We’ll see.
“The education I have gone through as a person is that you have to enjoy these occasions. Look at Guiseley’s history and it has been long and for this to be the first time that we have got to the second round, I hope the fans come out and really do embrace it and have a good time.
“I really hope we put on a show that really pleases them.”
Today’s meeting sees Cox make his first return to Field Mill in a professional capacity and just as he takes pride at his work in putting the Stags back on the footballing map during his time in Nottinghamshire, so he is intent on following through a successful building job at Guiseley.
Nottingham-born Cox, 45, who led the Stags back to the Football League in 2013 after a five-year absence, said: “I will always have a sense of pride and look back at what I have done, at every club I have been at.
“I am probably lucky in that sense.
“I have left all the clubs I have managed in a better position than where I found them.
“The reason I came to Guiseley, when I had a number of easier options, was that I am a believer that the people here want the club to grow and progress and get an unbelievable sense of pride in developing clubs, the first team, the infrastructure and the kids.”
Today’s game also sees Cox’s number two Adam Murray return to the club which he used to manage.