FA CUP PREVIEW: Yate Town vs Newport County
YATE Town management duo Rob Cousins and Michael Meaker last night completed their homework in a bid to cause an FA Cup upset when Newport County arrive at Lodge Road tomorrow and have told their players: "It's up to you now."
The Bluebells management duo have been pouring over scouting reports on every individual Newport player and are also up to speed on the way Justin Edinburgh's Blue Square Premier leaders set themselves up tactically.
The pair have even gone as far as examining likely set-piece routines in an effort to give Yate the best opportunity of overcoming the odds to make it in to the draw of the first round proper on Sunday.
"We've done as much as we can in the way of preparation," said Meaker. "We've been looking at the reports on individual players and we have had Newport watched a number of times to give ourselves the best chance.
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"We've looked at everything and now our homework is done. You can do as much preparation as you like, but the bottom line is that will all pale into insignificance once the whistle blows.
"We've given the players as much information about Newport as we possible, but it's up to them now. I know they will give a good account of themselves whatever the outcome.
"They are a group with a fantastic winning mentality and they will go out on that pitch believing that they are capable of overcoming the odds again."
The Bluebells have already pulled off upsets on route to the final preliminary round, with Blue Square South side Oxford City the most notable scalp in their four-game winning run.
"That has brought a bit of pressure in itself," said Meaker. "People are talking to me about the Newport game and it's almost if they are expecting us to win.
"We are massive underdogs against the best team outside the Football League, so if we were to win the game it would be an absolutely amazing achievement and I don't want people to forget that.
"Can we do it? I don't want to make a prediction either way, but what I can confidently predict is that every player involved will go out there and give it their best shot."
The players were last night followed by a TV camera crew at their final training session.
Lodge Road is expected to open its gates to a crowd of about 2,000 tomorrow and Meaker said: "The boys have loved all that.
"I think the barber shops in Bristol wish we were playing Newport every week judging by the amount of new hair cuts I've seen this week.
"It's been an exciting few days for the boys and that has helped to alleviate any nerves leading up to the game.
"The extra bit of publicity the FA Cup generates is good for the club and I'm pleased if our efforts on the pitch can help put Yate Town on the map."