FA CUP: Ciren boss urges focus on winning not windfall
CIRENCESTER might be on the brink of earning £10,000 in the space of five days but boss Brian Hughes is adamant that his players must keep their minds on the job on the pitch rather than a potential cash windfall.
The Centurions’ FA Trophy preliminary round replay win over Didcot on Tuesday netted the Corinium club £2,500 and they have the chance to add a further £7,500 to the coffers when they host Southern Premier Weymouth in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup this weekend.
However, Hughes is keen that his players keep the mindset that going that has helped their superb recent run of form - just one defeat in 11 games - rather than concerning themselves with the pressure of bringing in finance.
“We could make £10,000 by the end of the week, but to us it’s just another game,” said Hughes.
“We don’t see it as an opportunity to win money, we just see it as another opportunity to win a football match.
“Having said that, I’ve been in non-league a long time and I personally know the importance of what the cup run means for finances. I’ve got two hats on and our club needs the money.
“At the moment we believe we can take anyone on. In the FA Cup we had a couple of tough games against Slough, we beat Banbury and then Portchester came to us and we moved them aside.
“There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t win on Saturday but we have to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves.
“I have to keep the players grounded but I think we can win any game, if we didn’t think we could we wouldn’t bother turning up.
“We’ve worked hard this season and I know it’s only three months old, but we’ve been in since the last week of June and we deserve our opportunity to have a big cup game.
“It keeps the interest when you have a good run, we’re still in the FA Trophy and are handily-placed in the league, so that certainly helps keep you going when you come in on a cold Tuesday or Thursday night, and long may it continue.”
Ciren’s good form has come as a result of an improvement in the defensive injury crisis that caused problems early in the campaign, according to Hughes.
“I think we’re the same as all teams in the league, if we keep our best 11 players on the pitch then we’re half-decent,” he said.
“We’ve got five defenders at the club and all our injuries this season have been to defenders.
“The only games we lost in the league were over the bank holiday weekend (to Bridgwater and Supermarine) when we couldn’t get our back four out.”
Ciren will be missing Joe Sheppard due to a hip flexor problem tomorrow but Leigh Henry, Jon Beeden and Ellis Dunton are all expected to feature having returned from their respective injuries on Tuesday.
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