YORK City manager Russ Wilcox is planning changes for tonight’s replay but not through any disrespect to the competition.
With the Minstermen just two points above the League Two drop zone following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Oxford, Wilcox says: “I would say the FA Cup is a welcome distraction. I am a massive fan of the FA Cup because it is the best competition in the world.
“We will have to brush ourselves down quickly, regroup and go again.
“I am only looking to make changes to freshen things up really.
“I have to have half a mind on the three games in a week scenario and be careful that, with the squad getting stronger with competition for places, the last thing I need now is for two or three of the players to go down with more injuries. ”
There are other factors behind Hemsworth-born Wilcox’s determination not to let lightning strike for the second time in two years – the sides also drew 1-1 at Bootham Crescent in 2012 before the Dons won the replay 4-3.
“The chairman and the board have allowed us to do things right and we have travelled down overnight to give the players the best opportunity to freshen up and be ready for an important game.
“Financially, for this football club, the tie is so important. We are talking about going back into the market for players but the chairman and the board can’t keep putting their hands in their own pockets. We need to generate money through winning football matches in the Cup.”
After a 500-plus games 17-year professional playing career, the FA Cup holds special memories for the former central defender, who was also assitant to Brian Laws when Paul Hayes gave Scunthorpe a shock lead before they lost 3-1 to Chelsea in 2005.
“Like any player there were highs and lows. I think I scored 10 goals in the FA Cup and I only scored about 40 in my career. Highs of winning games at Hull City, highs of going to Stamford Bridge with Scunthorpe and a few lows which I’ve forgotten about!”
Last six games: AFC Wimbledon DDLDLW; York LDDWDL.
Last time: AFC Wimbledon 0 York City 1; March 8, 2014; League Two.