Gary Simpson up for the cup

The pressure is on Plymouth Argyle going into Saturday’s FA Cup first round match, according to Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Imps boss praised the effort of his players and said his team will “certainly have a go.”

Gary Simpson was in positive spirits at today's press conference. Photo: Paul Battison
Gary Simpson was in positive spirits at today's press conference. Photo: Paul Battison

City are playing in the FA Cup first round for the second consecutive season and beat Walsall en route to a second round replay against Mansfield.

Simpson said: “They’re a big club aren’t they? They’ll be a bit disappointed at where they are with the infrastructure behind them. They’ve got some good players and it’ll be a tough game.

“People probably think Plymouth should roll us over comfortably but we will have a go like we have done in other games.”

The Imps lost 1-0 to Welling on Saturday but their manager believes it is only a matter of time before their fortunes change.

Their last league win came in September when they beat Hyde 3-0 at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.

“It happens at all levels. The last month hasn’t been great results-wise. I said to the players this morning, it’s important they stick together,” he added.

“It’s difficult to take. We know we’ve got to take more of the opportunities we get. It’s disappointing at the minute but I’m sure they carry on the same and they get a little bit of luck, we’ll start picking results up.

If the Imps draw the match, they will face a midweek trip to Home Park for a replay but Simpson explained that avoiding replays is ideal.

“Experiences tell me nine times out of ten, usually the first bite of the cherry is probably your best chance. We will have a go on Saturday. We encourage both full backs to get crosses and we want midfielders in the six yard box. We want to be positive,” he added.

Plymouth have lost in the FA Cup to non-league opposition in the last two seasons having been beaten by Stourbridge in 2011 and Dorchester in 2012.

“I know Shezza’s [Plymouth manager John Sheridan] put up some articles up about the history of the last two years. They’re more determined than ever that they’re not going to get knocked out in the first round,” Simpson explained.

The Imps boss could have a goalkeeping dilemma for the game with first-choice stopper Paul Farman being out injured but he revealed that the club are looking at his condition.

Danny Rowe and Conner Robinson are also unlikely to feature in the games as a result of their respective injuries.

Simpson was, however, full of praise for goalkeeping coach David Preece, who doubles up as a player.

“His work ethic is fantastic. He’s a good lad. He’s a winner, even in training. He’s always disappointed if he’s letting things in. If he has to play on Saturday I’ve got no qualms with that.”

Preece also spoke to the media and hailed his understudy Farman.

“He deserves to be playing in League 1 or League 2 because I believe that he’s better than a lot of the keepers at that level. If Paul plays it’s a great chance to prove to the cameras that he should be playing at that level,” he said.

Midfielder Alan Power added: “Everybody’s been excited this week, the FA Cup is special and with us having a good run last year there’s expectation there as well. The lads are fully tuned in, training’s gone well this week and we’re ready for it.”

The game kicks off at three o’clock at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium on Saturday, November 9th.

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