Norwich City must be mentally switched on for Cup tie
Paddy Davitt Norwich defender Gary Doherty is braced for an FA Cup onslaught in tomorrow's first round fairytale tie at Southern League minnows Paulton. Doherty is under no illusions the part-timers will be desperate to play the game of their lives in front of a global television audience and a 2,500 capacity crowd at Winterfield Road.
Norwich defender Gary Doherty is braced for an FA Cup onslaught in tomorrow's first round fairytale tie at Southern League minnows Paulton.
Doherty is under no illusions the part-timers will be desperate to play the game of their lives in front of a global television audience and a 2,500 capacity crowd at Winterfield Road.
“They'll be relishing the chance to go and shine,” he said. “This is a shop window for them in front of the cameras with the whole country watching so they can show off their skills, and by doing that then maybe they'll impress a higher league club.
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“You look at the likes of Cody McDonald and it just shows the quality that is about in the non league game. We expect it to be helter skelter during the first 20 minutes. I don't know whether the pitch is good or not - we played on a terrible one at Stockport - so I'd be surprised if it is any worse than that.
“We want to be in the next round, whether it's 1-0 or 4-0, I don't really mind. You just want to be safely through. I couldn't care less about smaller changing rooms or the crowd being on top of you. The pitch is the main thing. If it's half decent then we'll be all right because that, for me, could be the only leveller.”
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Doherty believes City's mental approach holds the key to a safe cup passage.
“I think maybe these sort of games are more about the mental side because with respect they probably wouldn't have any players that would get in our team,” he said. “They will give it 100 per cent and if we don't match them, then that is when you tend to get upsets.
“They are probably the lowest team I have ever played against in the FA Cup but I actually feel it's one of those you have to go and enjoy. We know the cameras are there for a giant-killing and you also know that in the first round of the FA Cup there will always be giant-killings happening all over the place. We just have to make sure we are not one of them. We've not prepared any differently to a league game so we'll be well tuned in as to the threat they pose.”
Doherty is adamant Norwich's improving League One form will help avoid a potential embarrassing banana skin cup exit.
“It was mixed feelings when they came out of the hat,” he said. “They are the lowest ranked team left in the competition and I guess we were one of the big teams in the draw at this stage. Now the cameras are there it is an even bigger occasion for them.
“If we lose I guess it would be a disaster because we want to have a good little cup run. We've got another cup tie on Tuesday at Swindon and you want to stay in these competitions because it breeds confidence for the league.”