Craig Hignett has insisted that Pools will not be taking anything for granted when they host Stamford in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday.
The Lincolnshire outfit play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South – four tiers below Pools – but boss Hignett says that will not affect the way his team prepares for the game.
Stamford have already won five ties to reach the First Round for the first time in their history and made headlines when they knocked out Wrexham in a replay at The Racecourse Ground to book their trip to the North-East.
And while Hignett is confident that Pools will progress from Sunday’s tie, he wants to make sure that every one of his players is switched on from the first whistle.
“We’ve approached this game and prepared for it no differently to how we would a league game,” he told Pools PlayerHD.
“Players playing at Stamford’s level give their all to get to the First Round and they will do that again on Sunday so this game is not a gimme.
“We’ve had them watched a couple of times now so we know all about them and their strengths and weaknesses so we’ll have a gameplan.
“On Sunday it will be about matching their passion and work rate – and if we do that then we should be okay but there are no sure things so we’ll be fired up and ready to go.”
Hignett is a massive fan of the FA Cup and is keen for Pools to enjoy a good run this time around, having reached the Third Round last year where they were beaten by Derby County.
Having played for Middlesbrough in the 1996/97 FA Cup Final, he knows all about the cherished memories the competition can create and he wants Pools to write their own chapter this term.
“It’s a great competition and one I’ve watched avidly since I was a kid,” he explained.
“As a player it’s been good to me and I managed to play in a Final so it’s a fantastic competition – some people may say it’s been devalued but it won’t be by me, that’s for sure.
“I want to go as far as we can in the FA Cup this season so I will be picking a strong side.”
Click here now to visit Pools PlayerHD and watch the full pre-match video interview with Craig Hignett.