Michael Duff sees Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup first round trip to Ebbsfleet United as another important opportunity to build on the momentum gained from recent impressive showings at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Cheltenham head to the Kufflink Stadium to face up to National League Ebbsfleet with an eye on claiming a place in the second round of this year’s competition, in what will be a tough outing against an ambitious side a level below the Football League.
Duff spoke to the media at Thursday’s press conference and views this weekend’s tie as a key opportunity to build on recent progress.
“Lower level clubs still take the FA Cup as seriously as they always have done,” he said. “I think maybe at the top end it has been devalued a little bit just because of the money involved. But it’s an opportunity if you win a couple of games to go to one of the big boys which are the days out supporters remember.
“It’s another game and a chance to go and get a win. It’s a chance to build on a very small bit of momentum that we’ve managed to gather.
“I think there have been signs of progress, but very small signs. We’ve had a couple of false dawns in a short space of time. It won’t be easy. In the actual pyramid they are not actually a lot of places below us.
“It’s a long way to go but we know what we need to be delivering no matter who we are playing against at the minute.”
The Robins boss has ruled out any complacency from his charges ahead of the clash against an Ebbsfleet side who will be buoyed by the appointment of the highly experienced Garry Hill as their new manager this week.
“We are not complacent – the players are fully aware of where we are and the position we’re in,” he added.
“I’ll be very surprised or disappointed if the players think they’re just going to rock up and turn up and win. It’s definitely not the mind-set that they should be going into the game in. They’ll be reminded of that but the players aren’t stupid and are fully aware of what we need to do and I think they’ve shown signs of doing it more.”
Watch Duff’s full interview from Thursday’s press conference below.