Chorley assistant manager Matt Jansen has warned his players to maintain their focus as they prepare for a huge FA Cup tie tomorrow (Saturday).
The Magpies welcome FC Halifax Town to Victory Park in the final round of qualifying.
The prize for the victor is a place in the first round proper – and a possible draw against a Football League club.
If Garry Flitcroft’s side prevail tomorrow, it will be the first time in 21 years that the club will have made it.
Jansen accepts the possible prize awaiting in the next round is a huge incentive for the players but he has warned them not to make the mistake of thinking too far ahead.
“Obviously that’s a huge motivation for the players – getting to the first round proper and drawing a league club,” Jansen said.
“But we can’t look too far ahead. We have to keep the players concentrated on this game against FC Halifax, who are a very good team.
“We have not got a league club yet.
“We have to get a result against Halifax first.
“But if we can play well, especially at home.
“We have been very good at home this season and if we can continue that then we are more than capable of giving them a good game.”
The Shaymen ply their trade in the Conference Premier – the division above Chorley.
They started the season like a house on fire and won their first five games to soar to the top of the table.
Their form has dipped recently and they have only picked up one win in their last five, although that came on Saturday courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.
They currently reside in second spot in the table and Jansen knows they will present a stern test for his men, who lost only their third game of the season last Saturday – 3-1 away to Solihull Moors.
“It’s going to be a big test for us,” Jansen said.
“Halifax are going well in the Conference. We sent a scout to see them play last weekend and they won 2-0.
“They are a very strong team – but it’s a home tie for us and I fancy us with the way we have been playing this season, especially at home.
“We didn’t get the right result on Saturday but we still played well and were unlucky.
“If we can continue the form that we have shown this season, then I think we will trouble Halifax.”
With both teams well supported, a four-figure crowd is expected to walk through the turnstiles at Victory Park.
Jansen has called upon the home supporters to really back the Magpies
“We have home advantage and I think that will play some part,” he said.
“If the fans can get right behind us it can help the players.
“It’s the old thing about the crowd can be the extra man for us.
“If they can generate a good atmosphere, it makes it a little bit more exciting.
“When there is a good atmosphere at Victory Park, it always helps us.”
Chorley will be missing influential midfielder Dale Whitham tomorrow as he is suspended.
Jake Cottrell is still a doubt as he nurses an injury to his cheekbone, while long-term absentee Tom Baker is closing in on a return but will not be available tomorrow.
“We have got a couple of injury worries but there’s players equally as good who are capable of coming in and filling those starting positions if required,” said Jansen.
Meanwhile, AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is gunning for revenge tomorrow as his men bid for a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup.
The Coasters make the long trip to Norfolk to take on NPL Premier Division outfit Kings Lynn Town in the final qualifying round of the competition.
Challinor is still smarting from a 2-0 reverse his team suffered at Kings Lynn last season and is hoping for a better result this time around. He said: “We played them last season twice in the league – and they were two very close games.
“But we lost at their place 2-0 so we have got a point to prove going back there. Kings Lynn are a well-supported club at this level so there should be a decent atmosphere tomorrow.”
In order to have the best possible preparation for the game, Fylde will be travelling south today.
“We will be travelling down today to give us the best possible chance.
“We have also had them watched, so our lads will certainly have information on what they do.”
Southport are also in FA Cup action and they travel to face Tamworth tomorrow.
Sandgrounders boss Gary Brabin said: “I love the FA Cup, I am a traditionalist. Let’s see how far we can go. There’s a buzz around the players.”