PAUL COX, for one, is daring to dream. The FA Cup has been benevolent and giving to the Guiseley manager in the past, with pride of place going to a third-round date against Liverpool at old club Mansfield in January 2013 in a tie screened live on Match of the Day.
Cox also helped another former side in Barrow join that exclusive band of clubs to reach round three last season – with that being very much the aim for his Lions side, who tackle League Two promotion-chasers Accrington Stanley at Nethermoor on Sunday.
It is a Roses tie which has attracted considerable interest, with Cox hoping that a few more additions will be added to his memorable cup scrapbook.
Cox said: “If you love this business, you love the FA Cup.
“It is the best cup competition in the world and a creator of dreams and memories and something that the cup is all about.
“The special thing about the cup is that you cannot stop people dreaming.
“That is the beauty of it for me and it will bring excitement to the football club and that is part and parcel of it.
“It is an entertainment business and we want to have a good run and try and cause an upset.
“With the FA Cup, who knows. There will be upsets over this weekend and my glass is always half-full.
“I have got so many photos and memories from good FA Cup runs and it is something that you cannot buy.
“When you are retired from playing and managing, you can look back and say ‘wow, it was a special time in my life – never mind my career’. It is a magical competition.”
Cox acknowledges the extent of the task ahead for his Guiseley side against a Stanley outfit who are enjoying a fine season – and who also shocked Preston in the Carabao Cup earlier this term. But he insists that his side – with home advantage – will be in no way cowed and is not discounting their hopes of creating their own upset if they approach the tie in a ‘ruthless’ fashion.
Cox, whose side thumped north-east minnows Shildon 6-0 to reach round one, added: “As soon as it came out the hat and we were at home, I wasn’t too concerned and that is not being in any way arrogant.
“To be at home is key. John has obviously done a fantastic job at Accrington, he really has. I am sure he will go on to something at some point which will be classed as a job at a higher level.
“It will be a tough game, but the FA Cup is beautiful and as we saw in the last round, there will be shocks.
“We have earned the right to go and play a league club and we have got to earn the right to go and win it now.
“We can go and win the game if we approach the game right and keep learning, listening and keep that discipline and concentration.
“I do think we can go and affect any team.
“If we don’t show any fear and give it a good shot, then who knows...
“If you can go about your business in a ruthless fashion, it can be a magical competition.
“The boys were excellent and quite ruthless in the Shildon game, especially in the second half and we have earned the right to try and be a giant-killer when you get into the first round.”