Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore says his side are braced for another huge week.
Pools were on the south coast today to tackle fifth-placed Portsmouth in League Two, and they will be back in for training tomorrow, as they build up to Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at home to Salford City, with a testing league clash with promotion favourites Plymouth Argyle to finish an arduous week
Tuesday night is a must-win match for Pools, who will host Derby County in round three should they beat the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division side.
BT Sport are sending their cameras to Victoria Park anticipating an upset.
And Moore says the events of 12 months ago, when Pools went out to Blyth Spartans – from the same league as Salford – should act as an incentive to the home club.
The Pools chief blasted Pools after their 1-1 draw at Moor Lane in the original tie eight days ago, though he did admit that the conditions were a mitigating factor.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen a response in training,” said Moore.
“But we have shown we can pass the ball better and move it about – that was the big thing. The pitch wasn’t great and I have to give them a bit of lee-way for that, but Salford played it better than we did.
“But we are at home now, so it’s down to us to do the job
“We know what happened last time we had a televised FA Cup tie at Victoria Park.
“We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Moore admitted there was a bit of frustration that they missed out on a “massive” club in the third round draw, though Championship high-fliers Derby are one of the best teams outside the top flight.
“When our number came out first, we are at home, then you want a big, big tie,” said the boss.
“You think ‘there are a million teams there that could make us a few bob’.
“It’s disappointing, we were looking for a massive club, a Man City, Man U, Liverpool, Everton, but Derby are a big club.”
Derby have already lost away to a League Two club this season, Portsmouth, in the Capital One Cup.
However, that was in the early days of Paul Clement’s reign at Pride Park and the former Real Madrid and Chelsea coach has since taken the Rams into the promotion frame.
“It all depends on what sort of team they play,” said Moore.
“Paul Clement has done a fantastic job since he went in there.
“It will be tough, whatever their team, I’ve watched a bit of them this season.
“They have some quality players and it will be a great game.
“It will come down to what happens on the day, but it’s one to think about only if we beat Salford.”