Pools Youth Team are in FA Youth Cup action at Carlisle United on Tuesday evening (7pm kick-off) with both sides knowing victory would provide a very special reward in the next round.
The draw for Round Three of the prestigious competition has already been made and Pools and the Cumbrians are aware that the winners will host Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool in the next stage.
With no game on the schedule at the weekend, Ian McGuckin took the opportunity to bring his players in for some extra training to ensure they’re fully prepared for the trip to Brunton Park.
Pools won 1-0 at Carlisle in the League Cup earlier in the season and McGuckin insists the hard work they put in to claim the win that day will have to be repeated on Tuesday night.
“The lads are obviously excited about what could potentially be a fantastic tie for the Club in the next round,” he admitted.
“But they’ve not talked about it a lot which I think is a good sign because it shows they’re focused on the job they have to do first.
“Perhaps it gives us an edge that we have already beaten Carlisle this season but it was a very closely-fought encounter and we only won it with a very good late goal.
“There wasn’t much between the sides that day and I would expect this to be just as tight so the experience of playing them before prepares us for how tough it is going to be.
“It’s also a game which has a bit of a derby feel about it, the lads get to play in an another stadium and a different environment so it’s all exciting and it’s all good for their development.
“The gaffer spoke to the lads at the weekend and told them he would be at the game to watch and support them so hopefully they can perform well and show him what they can do.”
Niall Short is closing in on a return to full training after a knee injury but Tuesday night’s game at Carlisle will come too soon for him to be in contention.
Admission prices at Brunton Park are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
We’ll have a full report here on the Official Website following the final whistle.