BLYTH Spartans boss Tom Wade believes his side will have to “play out of their skin” to cause an upset in the cup clash with Hartlepool United.
Non-league Spartans are in a rich vein of form having lost just three times in their last 15 matches and winning the last three in all competitions.
Pools, meanwhile, are without a win in seven League Two matches and find themselves six-points from safety.
But while Wade says the spirit is high amongst his players he is adamant Paul Murray’s side remain firm favourites to progress into the potentially lucrative third round on Friday night.
“The spirit in the camp is really good,” Wade told SportMail.
“We are in a rich vein of form at the moment and have only lost a few times in the last 15 matches.
“We are confident of performing well and playing as well as we can but we have to go there and play out of our skins, while they need to have an off-day.
“But anything could happen.”
The Blyth squad includes three former youth Pools players – defender Nathan Buddle and midfielders Damen Mullen and Stephen Turnbull – while goalkeeper Peter Jeffries is Hartlepool-born.
The seventh-tier Northumberland outfit, who play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, outgunned Conference side Altrincham in the first round.
The players train twice a week and the Spartans boss has been keen to keep things as “normal” as possible going into the match, which will be screened live on BBC Two (KO 7.55pm).
Wade added: “It is tough to change what we do because we want the lads to treat it like a normal game.
“It isn’t a normal game of course, it is the second round of the FA Cup live on television but you want the lads to try and prepare in the same way.
“We have enjoyed the training and it has been a bit of fun with lots of hard work involved.
“There is a great buzz around the camp and we are ready for it.”
Spartans are 19th in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League but have only played 16 matches, given their progress in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy this season.
Wade is again looking forward to the “distraction” of the world’s biggest cup competition adding: “Both sides I am sure will treat the game in the right way and go and try and win.
“Hartlepool’s league form needs to improve, as does ours, but this is a bit of a distraction.
“It is a great occasion and we have to go there and really enjoy it.”