Brackley Town manager Jon Brady says the FA Cup represents a chance for Saints to “put themselves on the map” ahead of tomorrow’s fourth qualifying round tie against Barrow AFC at St James’ Park.
Brady is expecting another tough game against fellow Conference North side Barrow after the two teams played out a closely-fought encounter on the opening day of the season, which was won 1-0 by Saints.
He said: “It was a very tough game. We’ve got our reports on them, we’re giving them total respect and it will be a very tough challenge at home.
“To be fair, the one thing I’ll say about Barrow is that they’ve proven in the FA Cup that they can achieve good results. I think that Dave Bayliss has had a tough start, but I’m sure he’s a good manager and he’ll turn it around.”
Brackley will go into this weekend’s tie as strong favourites having enjoyed an impressive start to the season, while Barrow languish down in 17th following relegation from the Conference Premier last season.
The tie gives Saints a golden opportunity to reach the FA Cup First Round Proper for only the second time in their history – the first being in the 2008/09 season when they lost 2-1 to Eastwood Town.
Brady added: “Forget focusing on the money at stake, I just think for both teams you can put yourself on the map as a football club.
“And then whoever gets through there is an opportunity because ultimately players and managers want to take their club to a higher level.
“We’d like to do that and I bet you Dave would like to take Barrow back to the Conference [Premier]. And this is about getting the opportunity to pit your wits against teams of a better level to see if you can match or be better than those teams.
“There is always that opportunity so the FA Cup is magical and I expect Saturday’s tie to be one hell of a game and for Barrow to come down and give a really good performance. So we will not be underestimating them one bit.”