FC HALIFAX TOWN may have received notoriety for shipping seven goals twice already this month, but Guiseley manager Mark Bower is still wary ahead of today’s FA Cup clash.
Bower takes his Lions side to The Shay for an FA Cup fourth-qualifying round tie against hosts who have won just twice in 18 games this term – and copped several beatings along the way.
But Bower believes recent form will go out of the window and is reading little into the Shaymen’s toils or his side’s victory over their near-neighbours at Nethermoor on September 15 – in what proved to be Neil Aspin’s last game in charge.
Bower said: “It is a difficult one for us. People will be looking at their run and maybe thinking it is a good game, but it’s not.
“With a cup tie, you want a home tie against a team as low down the pyramid as possible. To be drawn away to a team in our league makes it tough.
“Their manager has said he has not had a chance to work with his players with all the midweek games and this is a chance for them and they have a load of new players in.
“Three, four or five of the ones who start against us won’t be affected by too much of what has gone on over the course of the season.
“You can also take out the two heavy defeats against two of the best three or four teams in the league in Cheltenham and Grimsby.
“It is also a local derby and the cup will take away the routine that they have been in as well, so it has the makings of a difficult game.”
Bower’s counterpart Darren Kelly insists that a switch of emphasis from league to FA Cup business has come at the perfect possible time for his Halifax side.
Along with representing a chance to bank £12,500 with victory, the derby encounter also enables Halifax to put their National League sojourns to one side, with Kelly having lost four of his five matches in charge so far – with his side conceding a mammoth 20 goals along the way.
The change of tack to cup matters is opportune, according to Kelly.
The Shaymen’s chief is also mindful of the financial spin-offs of a cup run, with Halifax banking some welcome cash and plenty of kudos following last season’s highly-publicised first-round draw with Bradford City – which was watched by over 8,000 fans at The Shay and screened live on BT Sport.
Kelly, awaiting his first victory on home soil since being appointed boss on October 1, said: “For us, it’s a nice break from the league and it has come at the perfect time.
“Like everyone at this level, we are hoping for a good run in the FA Cup as it can have a spin-off on the league and it would be lovely to get to that first round.
“The FA Cup helps with the finances as well and it is 90 minutes where we can forget the league and try and get ourselves in the first round.”
Kelly also spoke about the important work his side have been able to do on the training pitch ahead of today’s game.
He added: “The good thing about this week is that we can do a lot of shape stuff and a lot of possession-based stuff and keep possession; it will help us going forward. This will be the first time we’ve really got to do that.
“We’re going to have to do a lot of work this week and gear up properly because the games have been thick and fast and we haven’t been able to do a lot with the players and only working 10 to 15 minutes.”
Halifax could include Tommy Miller, formerly of Sunderland and Ipswich Town, after he signed for them last Saturday.