Ahead of the Robins’ FA Cup first round clash against Barnsley, Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott gives us the inside track, exclusively for Altrincham Today.
It would be nice if my players could create their own piece of FA Cup history at The J Davidson Stadium on Saturday in our all-ticket first-round tie with League One Barnsley.
This club, as much as any, has shown the FA Cup can be a fairytale competition and is certainly no respecter of reputations.
Players from that great side a few decades ago are rightly revered for some of the results they pulled off, and that has to be an incentive for the lads who step out against Barnsley. They will want to be remembered the same way.
The club holds the record for most league scalps by a non-League side. It is a rich history this club has in the FA Cup, and the challenge now is to see if we can carry the mantle on a bit, to keep it going.
It is an opportunity for the players to pit themselves against a professional team and show what they are capable of, which is something everyone wants at this level. It is also a chance to be held in similar regard to names from the past, and that would be part of the bonus if we can get through.
I’m not surprised some of the players are saying they’ve had half-an-eye on this game ever since the draw was made. It’s human nature to look forward to an opportunity like this.
Watch Jake Moult’s stunning equaliser for the Robins against Torquay last weekend
I know that Barnsley are on a poor run, having lost their last seven games in League Two, but they could have lost 15 on the bounce and they would still be favourites, given the fact that they play two divisions higher than us and the advantage they get from full-time training, in terms of preparing for and recovering from games.
All the onus and pressure is on Barnsley. There is none on my players. We have been favourites against some lesser-placed sides in recent years, but this time we are firmly the underdogs.
Barnsley are saying they’ve got injury problems, but so have we. If you compare the size of the two squads, theirs won’t be as bad as ours, percentage-wise. You get on with it, deal with it and apply yourselves accordingly, and that’s what we will do.
You can do all the preparation and study all the reports you like, but once the players cross the line, it’s how they perform collectively and individually. We won’t bog them down with too much detail. They know the importance of the game, so the message will be simple and straightforward – get out there and win it.