MANAGER PREVIEW: Grainger up for the FA Cup

First-team manager Danny Grainger is up for the FA Cup ahead of our trip to Knaresborough Town tomorrow.

His Reds side will return to competitive action 175 days after our last outing against fellow Yorkshire side Tadcaster Albion in March.

Speaking at last night’s training session, Grainger explained his excitement, saying: “It’s the FA Cup, I think it’s most people’s first memories in football.

“The finals at Wembley, the fairytales, scoring goals in big grounds; all these types of things.

“It’s a special competition and everyone always looks forward to it.”

Reds suffered late penalty heartbreak at Newcastle Benfield last season, at the same Preliminary Round stage, something Grainger is keen to avenge.

“When you look the game last year, we didn’t play badly,” he said.

“We created enough chances to score enough goals to win two or three games but we just didn’t take our chances and they got the break with the handball late on. All of a sudden you’re out.

“That’s what cup football’s like, it’s frustrating at times but we’ve said to the lads: a good performance would be great but all that matters is that come 5pm Saturday, we’re in the next round of the FA Cup.”

Given it’s the first competitive clash of our season, Grainger’s team selection will be under the spotlight even more so than usual.

Having decided on his starting XI, the manager took us through his process.

“They’ve all done really well in pre-season. It’s been a tough time for Ruddy [Steven Rudd] and I,” he revealed.

“As we said to them during the summer, don’t give us a reason to leave you out and none of them have done that.

“We’ve just picked the best team that we think can win the tie.”

Knaresborough play in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, level eight of the football pyramid, and beat Glasshoughton Welfare in the Extra Preliminary Round on penalties after a 1-1 draw last Tuesday.

The Boro will be buoyant mood at Manse Lane and Grainger says the game will be a ‘big challenge.’

“It’s going to be a tight ground and the pitch won’t be tremendous but we’ve had them watched, we know what they’re about,” he stated.

“We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a big challenge and I’m sure the lads will rise to it and hopefully, we’ll get the result we deserve.”

Finally, we’ll welcome back away support on the road tomorrow.

A maximum of 75 Reds can enter the ground, all of which the boss is keen to see, saying: “The guys that travel are a fantastic bunch.

“They’re working hand-in-hand with the club to try and make sure things are done properly.

“Obviously, it’s not just about the support they give us, it’s how they give the club a good name because of the way they follow us.

“We can’t wait to see them again and hear them on the terraces because for me, there aren’t many fans who travel in the numbers they do.”

Kick-off tomorrow is 15:00, please remember to bring your ticket vouchers and payment upon arrival.

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