Young Leeds United loanee Conor Shaughnessy knows all about the agony of FA Cup giantkillings ahead of Mansfield Town’s home clash with National League opponents Chorley on Saturday.
The Irishman was part of a Leeds side beaten 2-1 at Newport County in January 2018 and he admitted: “That was a tough day for us.
“It was my first experience of the FA Cup and a learning curve for everyone.
“I now know going into these games you can’t take your foot off the pedal at all. You need to go into it 100 per cent as anything can happen.
“I think we might have under-estimated Newport a little bit. We played them away and it was a tough ground to go to.
“We controlled the majority of the game but little things cost us. It was a big upset.
“Everyone ups their game, especially against teams from leagues above you. So we’re going to have to be ready for that on Saturday.”
He continued: “You see it all the time in these cup games, underdogs coming forward and putting up a really good test on the day.
“Anything can happen in the cup, so we won’t be taking it lightly at all. We want to win.
“Heart, desire and endeavour from us is the minimum expected from us. If we get that right we know our quality will show with the ball and it should go our way.
“It will be a tough game and they will put up a really strong fight. I am sure it will be a physical game.
“We just have to start it well and pass the ball well.
“We are expected to get the result as we’re in the league above, but at the same time, it’s the cup so we won’t be thinking it’s an easy game.”
Shaughnessy is a big fan of the competition, saying: “I love it. I grew up watching the FA Cup all the time.
“It would be great for us as a club to go on a cup run. It would help our confidence for the league.
“It’s a great competition for clubs to come up against higher opposition and that’s what we need to do. We need to get through these early rounds, push on and draw a bigger team and a good day for the club.”
Shaugnessy admitted Stags need to tighten up at the back after Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to Colchester.
“It was a tough game. We came up against quite a good team,” he said.
“We scored two goals at home but we let ourselves down as a team defensively, conceding three.
“We need to work on it – both individual mistakes and as a team – ahead of Saturday’s cup game.”