FA CUP: 'Enjoy Bassett's biggest day'
DAVE Turner insists he can’t even begin to think about getting a result at Dorchester in the FA Cup tomorrow, and is purely focused on cajoling the best possible performance out of his side.
The Rylands Way boss refuses to get carried away by the romance of the cup, with a respectable scoreline in the second qualifying round tie his only target against the Blue Square South giants.
“We know which way we’re going to play and it’s a case of giving it the best we can and seeing what that brings,” said Turner, whose side play four leagues below the Magpies.
“You can never say never, but the reality is we’re going up against a squad that is far superior to us.
“People say there’s always a chance but if I stood in front of my players and said, ‘we’re going to have a go’, they’d think I was barking mad. I have to start from a realistic position.
“I scare myself looking at the players they have got and the ones they are signing. The speed of thought and speed of pass will be very different, but the players should try and learn from it.
“They play four divisions above and I couldn’t put a team out to have a go at them if I wanted to. All we can do is show we can play a little bit and keep it respectable.
“We’ve earned the right to be there by beating three teams in higher divisions, so we can play, and I just want my players not to freeze up and enjoy the experience.”
From an attacking perspective, Bassett are missing two of their key men for the trip to the Avenue Stadium.
The absence of striker Mark Barnes is significant given that he is Bassett’s top scorer and has netted four goals in three FA Cup games.
The former Supermarine man, who may travel depending on work commitments, misses out with ligament damage while Shaun Terry is suspended.
“It’s frustrating for the lad (Barnes) because he’s been instrumental for us,” said Turner.
“I feel for him and it’s going to be a massive loss for us, but to be honest, I’d rather have him fit for the league games.
“He and Shaun are two of my more experienced players who have played at a higher level and their experience would have been invaluable.”
Dorchester manager Phil Simkin has promised the Magpies will ‘respect’ Wootton Bassett in the teams’ FA Cup second qualifying round clash tomorrow.
The Blue Square South side go into the tie as huge favourites against Dave Turner’s men, who play four levels below their opponents.
But Simkin is all to aware of the magnitude of the occasion for the Wiltshire club and knows his own team will have to give a strong performance if they are to progress.
“It’s going to be their cup final and it’s up to us to be totally professional about it and make sure there are no slip-ups,” he said.
“We will prepare properly, show them the respect they are due and hopefully we will get the result we are after.
“We desperately want a cup run so it’s a big game for us as well. There is no way we are taking this game lightly and we will be putting out our strongest possible line-up.”
Simkin sought advice from Hamworthy boss Simon Browne on Bassett, as Browne’s men were defeated 1-0 in the preliminary round by the Rylands Way side.
“They did put Hamworthy United out of the cup in a previous round and I have spoken to Simon Browne,” added Simkin.
“He has been very helpful and given me a complete run-down on them, for which I am very grateful.
“I went to watch Wootton Bassett play last week (a 4-1 defeat at Shrivenham in the Challenge Cup), but it wasn’t their strongest line-up so I didn’t learn too much about them.”
Simkin has injury concerns over skipper Mark Jermyn (thigh) and Jamie Gleeson (groin), while recent signing Jon Garcia could make his home debut.
Dorchester snapped up Truro defender Aaron Pugh yesterday, but he is most likely to be on the bench as he is recovering from a broken hand.