Port Vale vs Forest Green: Valiants must play with heads and hearts in FA Cup, insists Mark Grew
PORT Vale must be up for the cup if they're to avoid a potential banana skin.
That's the message from assistant boss Mark Grew, who is warning the players about the danger of complacency.
Grew is expecting non-league minnows Forest Green Rovers to provide a tough test in the first round of the FA Cup tomorrow (3pm) and he's keen to make sure the attitude of the team is spot on.
"If our frame of mind is not right then we'll be in for a shock," warned Grew.
"There are always a couple of results in the first round that raise a few eyebrows and we've got to make sure we're not one of them.
"We want to be in the hat for the second round, but we won't be if our attitude is not spot on."
Grew admitted there would be added pressure for the League Two outfit to get a result against their Blue Square Bet Premier hosts.
"I've been involved in a few of these games when you're the top dogs and expected to win, but everyone knows it doesn't always work out that way," he added.
"I remember 1988 – the year we played Tottenham at Vale Park. The pressure was all on them and we won 2-1, so it shows what can be done.
"We've done our homework and Forest Green are a decent side. They've got some good players, they work hard and their front three look particularly dangerous.
"But we've been playing well this season, so we'll go there and be confident."
Grew confirmed Joe Davis and Clayton McDonald would be fit to form a new central defensive partnership at the New Lawn, in the absence of John McCombe (suspended) and Gareth Owen (dead leg).
"Both of them missed training on Monday, but they've come through the rest of the week ok," said Grew.
"We're lucky they did because we'd have had big problems otherwise."
Skipper Doug Loft (calf) and right-back Richard Duffy (ankle) miss out.
"I'm a great lover of the FA Cup," added Grew. "The further you go, the better it gets and the crowds get bigger and bigger."
TICKETS for the Forest Green clash are still available for Vale supporters.
They will remain on sale at the ticket office until 3pm today. Visiting fans are unable to pay on the day.
Big-match preview: Page 60