Farsley have nothing to lose at giants Fylde – Wilcox

FA Cup 

Farsley Celtic manager Russ Wilcox. Picture: Matthew Appleby

Russ Wilcox admits Farsley Celtic have nothing to lose in their second qualifying round tie at National North title favourites AFC Fylde.

To some, Farsley’s trip to the coast is mission impossible and Wilcox agrees no-one will give the Celts a chance.

“If you asked 50 people they would all say it is a Fylde win so we go there with a free hit and no real pressure,” Wilcox told Non League Yorkshire.

“Last season (Farsley) got beat at City of Liverpool who are two leagues below so the tide has turned and we go as underdogs and nobody is expecting us to get a result so let’s surprise a few.

“I’ve said that to a few people (that we have the toughest draw in the round).

“You look at what’s in the draw and Fylde away is the hardest one of the lot of them.

“It seems to be a bit of curse.

“I have only been at the club since January so it is my first FA Cup draw but people at the club have been saying they haven’t had a good draw for years! 

“It has come to bite us again.

“But we’ll go there after (the draw at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday) with confidence.

“We know how hard it is going to be.

“They are the team along with Kidderminster who should be at the top end because they have bigger budgets and they train full-time.

“It is a really difficult place to go.”

Fortune favours the brave is one approach Farsley could take.

However, Wilcox says his men will need to be defensive to either get a result or force a replay.

“You have to start the game really well without the ball,” he said.

“They are a possession-based team and they have some really good players in the starting line-up and on the subs bench.

“We have to be disciplined and organised like we were (at Blyth).

“It is going to be a really difficult game and the last thing we want to do is concede early because you’re chasing the game.

“It isn’t about being negative, it is about being realistic.

“We have to be good without the ball, we have to be compact as a group and when we do get the opportunities we have to be clinical because at somewhere like that you may only get one-or-two.

“You need a bit of luck but you never know, it is the FA Cup and strange things happen.”

Although Farsley sit third bottom, the Celts have made a decent fist of their campaign so far. 

They have won once and drawn three of their opening eight games.

Asked if it is a positive stat considering how he probably felt at half-time at Leamington on the opening day when they were 3-0, Wilcox said: “That’s a good question.

“We are in a positive place.

“You’re going to get highs and lows.

“I said to the lads (at Blyth on Tuesday) that it felt like a defeat and I’m sure it felt like a victory for Blyth.

“I said to the lads that we have to stay positive as a group.

“We have responded well to situations before like the shocking start to the season at Leamington.

“Our away form has been really good as well.

“(The Blyth game) should have been our second win away from home and that hurts because we only had two wins away from home last season.

“That would have put us in a good place.

“We just need to turn those home draws into wins.

“We’re not far away.”

Not far away sums up the draw at Blyth.

On loan Bradford City starlet Kian Scales looked to have scored the winning goal until Blyth equalised in the last minute.

It was a a devastating finish for Wilcox and his men.

“We have had a couple of kicks in the teeth like the Curzon one where we missed the penalty in the last minute and now (Blyth),” he said.

“I know you shouldn’t but you do look at the table and know we should have ten points and be sat in mid-table and looking up.

“We are where we are and maybe (at Blyth) we should have managed things a little better.

“There were a couple of things we could have done better.

“As a group it was a terrific away performance.

“They are a possession-based side and we made it difficult for them.

“We had to sit on the game at times and play on the counter attack but we limited them to probably two-or-three shots on target and two of those were from distance. The other was the goal.

“We were compact as a team and the lads worked their socks off.

“I’m just really gutted for the lads that we couldn’t see it out.”

Wilcox has been busy in the transfer market over the past week.

Young Mansfield Town stopper Owen Mason has joined for the next four weeks and he made his debut at Blyth.

And the Farsley boss is not finished.

“We’re always looking,” he said.

“We have brought in Bobby Pointon from Bradford City in the last ten days.

“We still need a bit of defensive cover if we can.

“The chairman has given me the backing to do that but you want to bring in the right player and person for the Football Club.

“It is a lot harder than picking the phone up and saying ‘he’ll do, he’s a defender, let’s bring him in’.

“There’s a lot more work that goes into it. They have to fit into our group.”

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