Jimmy: Phoenix will rise for Cup

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 September 2015

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Hornchurch boss wary of league rivals ahead of crucial match this weekend

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane insists league form will count for nothing in his side’s FA Cup clash with Ryman North rivals Phoenix Sports.

The Urchins have had a better start to the league campaign ahead of this weekend’s clash, picking up 20 points from their first 10 games to sit in fifth place.

Sports, meanwhile, began the new campaign brightly before a sticky patch of form saw them go five league games without a win, a run which ended with a triumph at Redbridge on Tuesday.

But McFarlane believes form will count for little when his team travel to the Mayplace Ground for the first time tomorrow (Saturday).

“People love the FA Cup because there is always an upset in every round,” he said. “We have to make sure that on Saturday, that’s not us against Phoenix.

“I watched them recently when they played Romford and I thought they were very good. They play like Maldon (who beat Hornchurch 3-1 on Wednesday).

“Phoenix like to get the ball down and play with pace, but we have nothing to fear from any team in the league. If we settle quickly, we know we are capable of beating anyone.”

Regardless of the outcome of the weekend’s cup clash, Hornchurch know their next match will also be against Sports in midweek, it’s just a case of the venue.

The two sides are set to meet at the Mayplace in league action on Tuesday, a match that will be postponed should the cup tie need a replay at Bridge Avenue.

And McFarlane admits it leaves him in a bit of a quandry with regards to his team selection.

“It’s strange. We know we will play them twice this week and again on October 13, so squad selection will be an issue,” he said.

“If we win this weekend, the question is do I change a winning team to face the same club just a few days later?

“Whoever loses this weekend will make changes to their team to try to improve their fotunes, so again you have to ask if you change your team because of that.

“We’ll just have to take each game as it comes and assess the team and make the right choices for selection.”

Both sides will be spurred on this weekend knowing that whoever progresses to the next round will pocket £4,500.

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