DINO Maamria says the Brewers will not underestimate lower league opposition in the FA Cup, having reflected on previous experiences of shock results in the competition.
The Brewers take on Needham Market at The Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, with the visitors sitting just outside of the play-off positions in the Southern League Premier Central, a division containing the likes of Tamworth, Nuneaton Borough and Mickleover.
The Brewers manager admitted that he had watched Albion’s historic cup tie against Manchester United on his TV back in 2006 and has experienced the FA Cup first-hand as a player, manager, and assistant manager. Dino has had his fair share of magic moments in the competition, including scoring twice against then Championship side Stockport County in his playing days, also helping Stevenage cause one of the FA Cup’s greatest ever upsets against high-flying Newcastle United.
He said: “When I was the assistant manager at Stevenage, we had a lot of success in the competition. The biggest win was (against) Newcastle United in 2011. We were eighteenth in League Two and they were fifth in the Premier League. We ended up beating them 3-1 in a replay.
“Anything is possible in the FA Cup because, despite the gulf between the Premier League and League Two, we were better on the day and totally dominated them.
“The FA Cup is a chance for the underdog because they play without fear, they let loose, and they play to their full potential. There is always that danger of the banana skin term that everybody uses. You’ve got to respect every team in the competition, especially in these first two rounds.”
Dino also talked about his ambitions in the competition, as he praised the opposition for their journey so far but also spoke about the possibility of starting our own run in the FA Cup.
“Needham Market have done well to get this far, but we dream as big as the next person. I’m dreaming about going all the way to the third, fourth, fifth round and seeing where that takes us. We’re dreaming big about the FA Cup and our focus has been totally on this competition all week.”
But the Brewers do face a few injury worries, with captain John Brayford and loanee Elliot Thorpe being ruled out for this weekend’s clash. Sam Winnall is a doubt for the tie but Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who had an impressive performance in his last outing, is likely to be back from a knock which saw him miss our previous fixture. Tyler Onyango is amongst the loanees given permission to play by their parent clubs.