CJ Hamilton believes home advantage could be key to Mansfield Town pulling off an FA Cup shock when League One giants Charlton Athletic visit the One Call Stadium on Sunday (12.45pm).
The wing back also believes Stags can take inspiration from their 6-1 Carabao Cup demolition of Accrington Stanley earlier this season with Stanley up there in the play-off hunt with the Addicks.
“Charlton are doing very well in League One and are up there in the play-offs. They are a very good team and like to play football,” said Hamilton.
“It will be a tough game, but we are good at home. I am confident that being at home will see us do the job.
“We have made it a little fortress here this season, which you have to do when you’re going for promotion. You have to make it that when people come here they are frightened to play here.”
He added: “Accrington are also up there around it and they are a good team. If we can play the way we played against them, hopefully we can get a similar result.”
Hamilton is a big fan of the competition and said his dream would be to progress and eventually play away at his boyhood favourites Arsenal.
“Everyone likes to go as far as they can in the FA Cup no matter what level you play at. And you always like to draw one of the big boys,” he said.
“I am a big Arsenal fan and I can remember watching the final against Hull City when they were losing. I was at my uncle’s and we went mad when they won it in the end in extra-time.
“Playing at the Emirates would be the dream obviously, but we have to get through this round and the next before they’re in the draw.”
“Playing-wise, my best FA Cup memory so far would be when I played well against Guiseley and set up a couple of goals – one of my first FA Cup games.”
Stags are currently 11 games unbeaten, 10 in the EFL, and showed their mettle with a late winner in Tuesday’s 2-1 home success against Grimsby to move into the play-off spots.
“It was a win we needed to show people we are on our way up there,” he said.
“Everyone just went for it in the second half. Everything came off.”
Hamilton set up Tyler Walker’s winner with a superb back post cross and he admitted: “The feeling was just as good as scoring a goal, seeing a team mate score in an important game. You get that buzzing feeling and I was happy to help.
“I thought the first pass that Bish (Neal Bishop) made was going to be intercepted. But luckily it came through to me and I went for the by-line and dug it out for Tyler at the back stick.
“Tyler has been brilliant lately. He’s been there when we needed him and score important goals. Fair play to him as he’s been putting in the work on the training field.”
Hamilton has enjoyed playing almost every minute of every game this season, often in an unfamiliar role of wing back.
“Everyone is comfortable playing different positions. We are all quite versatile and the gaffer trusts us,” he said.
“I have racked up the minutes this season and I am happy to be playing.
“This is the first time I have started a season where I have been playing from the start and luckily enough the gaffer has been trusting me to play in various positions.
“I think I’ve done all right but I think I can hit another level yet. I want more assists, more goals and to do more overall for the team. There is definitely another gear to come.”