OPINION: Forget the FA Cup, Stags must take Blackpool clash seriously

Paul Cox and Adam Murray - Pic By James Williamson
Paul Cox and Adam Murray - Pic By James Williamson

Football is often a fickle game, where heroes turn to villains so quickly.

So it was humbling to see Paul Cox and Adam Murray, who returned to the One Call Stadium on Sunday with Guiseley, receive a warm reception of thanks.

They delivered many a good time as manager and assistant/captain including an FA Cup third round showdown with Liverpool which provided the taste for success which ultimately led to promotion.

The FA Cup has a certain magic about it, as does any cup competition really – so it does disappoint me when we don’t take things seriously.

Fortunately on Sunday against the National League outfit we were utterly professional on the pitch, not reacting to the physical ‘try and wind them up’ tactic – which earned us a place in round three.

For me success in any competition can only be seen as a good thing, so regardless of the FA Cup draw, which has handed us an underwhelming trip to Cardiff, I just want us to focus on the next game, which is one which Steve Evans would be happy to write off.

Of course I’m referring to the Checkatrade Trophy and our trip to League One Blackpool on Wednesday night, a game for me which is winnable – no matter the amount of squad rotation.

Games such as this are competitive, and I mean no disrespect to the local non-league clubs here.

Those fixtures are always good for the local scene, but they don’t offer the same level of competition or test of tactic and character.

I’ve said it game after game, we have enough depth in our ranks to field a strong side and make real progress – players step it up for a place in the league and, as such, try.

The prize money is good too, certainly not to be sniffed at if we want to invest in a striker or another player in the January window.

And after all, I’m sure we’d all like another trip to Wembley – mind you that’s not as much as a novelty now is it?

All you need to do is draw Tottenham away in the FA Cup! Maybe in round four eh?

No matter the competition, no matter the prize – winning breeds confidence and makes everybody up their game, that in turn sparks momentum and with that comes success.

It’s a simple equation of the beautiful game, long may it continue.