Midfielder Harry Pell insists Cheltenham Town must have the right frame of mind from the outset if they are to enjoy Emirates FA Cup success this season.
Pell is pushing for a starting spot as the Robins face in-form National League side Maidstone United at the LCI Rail Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
The 26-year-old knows all about the glory that the FA Cup can bring – once lining up against Steven Gerrard and Liverpool during his AFC Wimbledon days.
But he also knows the dangers of potential giant-killing acts and believes the Robins must be mentally strong when they play in the First Round this weekend.
Pell said: “It’s a great opportunity for individuals and as a team. Over the course of my career I have seen what the FA Cup can do for individuals as well as teams.
“You get exposure if you have a little cup run and obviously it means a hell of a lot to the football club. There is prize money on it and exposure, so it is very important.
“You can’t go into any game taking anyone for granted – especially in the FA Cup. That is where a lot of teams get a little bit unstuck.
“We will give them the full credit they deserve. We know they are going well so we will have people in the right frame of mind wanting to do a job for Cheltenham Town.
“It’s not going to be easy. We have got to do what we have been doing recently and be in the right frame of mind and take the game to them.
“We need the crowd behind us too. They have been absolutely fantastic of late. We all need to do a professional job - and enjoy ourselves doing it.”
Pell missed the recent Sky Bet League Two home clash with Lincoln City with concussion and returned off the bench against Wycombe to help spark a late fight-back.
“It was a little bit frustrating not playing against Lincoln, but at Wycombe I was just eager to get on the pitch and make an impact,” he said.
“We finished that game strongly and the boys were also fantastic against Lincoln where we did a professional job in difficult circumstances. We will look to take that form into Saturday.
“This is the strongest the squad has been since I’ve been here,” he added.
“You look around and there are many different qualities that people bring and whatever team the gaffer picks on Saturday he will have 18 people ready to do the right thing for Cheltenham and themselves.”
Tickets for the Emirates FA Cup tie are available from the Ticket Office between 10am and 3pm on Thursday and Friday and online by clicking HERE