NIGEL Clough says the FA Cup is important to Burton Albion and he wants to see his side go as far as possible in the competition.
The Brewers have endured a long wait for an FA Cup victory having not made progress since 2013/14 and are overdue a run in the famous old competition. They face a tricky First Round tie at Salford City on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
The Brewers manager has a simple message for his players: “Get in the hat, that’s what we have told them. Try and win the game but if we can’t then let’s bring them back here.
“We don’t put weakened sides out - we put our best available team and try and win the games.”
Clough says the Brewers have not had much luck in the FA Cup in recent seasons.
“One home draw in six years,” he said. “We seem to have had our breaks in the Carabao Cup in terms of draws and winning games but we can change that and if we get through we can hopefully get a nice home draw in the Second Round and then everyone looks to the big teams coming in in the Third Round. You have to get through these early rounds."
The manager says that even though Premier League teams have tended to field weaker teams in recent years, that the FA Cup hasn’t lost its magic
He said: “It’s still the cup competition that brings the most glory. For half the Premier League the priority is that they have to stay in the division and anything else after becomes less important but for everyone else, especially lower down, it’s still a fantastic competition and one that everyone wants to make progress in.”
Clough has fitness doubts over three players – Richard Nartey (hamstring), David Templeton (ankle) and Reece Hutchinson (hip flexor) and will wait on fitness reports later in the week.