The Magpies can be that team which is talked about for years to come with victory over Wolves

The enormity of the task facing Chorley was laid bare for boss Jamie Vermiglio when he opened his little manager’s notebook earlier this week.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:30 pm
Connor Hall celebrates opening the scoring in the 2-0 win over Derby in the third round of the FA Cup at Victory Park

Having played – and beaten – Farsley Celtic in a National League North fixture in their last outing, the most recent insertion in the book was all about the strengths and weaknesses regarding the Celt Army,

Then he turned over the page and began to jot down a few observations about the Magpies’ next opponents – none other than Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Premier League.

The three-times English champions head to Victory Park for a huge fourth-round encounter in the FA Cup this evening, a match which is being screened live on BTSport.

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Vermiglio revealed he had to have a little chuckle to himself when he began to put his thoughts down in writing about how his players could combat Nuno Espírito Santo’s squad, which has been assembled for more than a pretty penny.

In 2017, Wolves splashed out a record £15.8m on Portuguese midfielder Reuben Neves, but that figure was more than doubled last September when they paid Porto £35.6m for fellow countryman and wonderkid, 18-year-old Fabio Silva.

Captain and centre-half Conor Coady is now an England international with a transfer value of £30m and rising.

Vermiglio joked that his skipper and Coady’s opposite number Scott Leather – who made a couple of appearance in the Championship for Preston North End several years ago – is probably worth a packet of plain-flavoured crisps.

“I was looking at my notebook on Monday night getting ready for training on Tuesday,” said Vermiglio.

“We actually trained on Monday night and I was looking at it late at night about 10pm.

“It opened up on Farsley Celtic and we had their formations written out, their players. So written down in my notes was Celtic’s Tom Allan, centre-half, 6ft 4in, quite immobile but decent left-foot – put some pressure on him and we will cause some problems.

“Then I turned over the page and looked and there was Fabio Silva, Wolves’ No.17, bought for £35m!

“I just started giggling to myself and I think that sort of highlights the gulf in terms of what we are up against.”

Despite the task ahead of them, Vermiglio insisted his team – who are the only non-league outfit left in the competition – will walk out on to the pitch at Victory Park with the belief that they can cause a huge upset.

And if they were to do that then they would write their own little piece of footballing history.

Only nine non-league clubs have ever reached the fifth round since the end of the Second World War and Vermiglio admitted his players are fully aware that sporting immortality is just one win away.

He said: “You look back and you don’t need to try too hard, especially if you have a decent memory, of Lincoln and Sutton United and all the other clubs who got to the fifth round in the past.

“Everybody is going to be wanting us to do well and we’re everybody’s second team at the moment.

“The magnitude of the game is phenomenal and when it’s all done and dusted – whether we win or lose – you will take a step back and I think for years to come people are going to be talking about the team that got to the fourth round.

“But hopefully they will be talking about the team that got to the fifth round.

“There is a little chance that we can do that and if we were to, it would be unbelievable for the players.”

If you look back in the annals of history there have been a few non-league players whose names have become synonymous with the FA Cup.

Ronnie Radford’s incredible goal for Hereford against Newcastle United in 1972 is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the competition. Even to this day, it is talked about and the old clips of the goal are shown on television.

It could be argued that the Magpies have already left their mark for years to come, especially with the way they came from behind to knock out 2013 winners Wigan Athletic and League One promotion hopefuls Peterborough United in the opening two rounds.

The goals scored by Connor Hall, Harry Cardwell and Lewis Baines will live long in the memory and Vermiglio revealed that having a “Radford moment” has been part of his team talks ahead of each cup tie.

“I think the dream for all footballers is to play professionally and then second to that is you want to be on Match Of The Day,” said Vermiglio.

“We have appeared on Match Of The Day quite a few times now and we have said to the players before the games that you can be that player.

"You can be the one who is on the front and back pages of all the newspapers. You can be the one that everybody is talking about.

“Our players have stepped up and I think I am right in saying that they are being talked about at the moment especially if you look at the publicity that they have had.

“Particularly Connor Hall, with the goals that he has scored, and Elliot Newby with his performances.

“These players are in the limelight at the moment and although I want to keep hold of them, you want these players to have the chance of playing at the highest possible level that they can.

"This is a really good platform for them and a lot of them are taking advantage of that at the moment.

“It is absolute credit to them. They are the reason why we are playing against Wolves in the fourth round.”