Matthew Bates has said Pools know they have a big task in front of them but will make the trip to Gillingham confident they can make FA Cup progress this weekend.
The reward for defeating Kidsgrove Athletic in the last stage of the competition is an away tie at League One outfit Gillingham in the First Round.
Stuart Lovell’s side have emerged from a difficult period to win two of their last three games ahead of their weekend meeting with Pools at Priestfield Stadium.
However, Bates has insisted that his players can approach the game with some of the pressure off but is still demanding a strong performance in reaction to the defeat at Bromley.
“In some ways it’s good to have a break from the League but in other ways we’d want to be playing again to bounce back from last weekend,” Bates told Pools PlayerHD.
“It’s a tough ask and we’ll need to be at 100% to get a result but what a game to play in, pitting our wits against a League One side so we’ll go down there and try and prove a few people wrong.
“Gillingham’s form has turned a little bit since the draw was made but, regardless of that, it was always going to be a tough place to go.
“Nobody will expect us to go there and get a result so the shackles are off in some ways and we can enjoy the game but also make sure that we give everything for the Club and the competition.
“It’s a massive competition for this Club and for everyone involved at our level the money side of things is huge so we’ll take a strong squad and leave no stone unturned in trying to win the game.
“We go down there knowing it will be hard but we have a job to do and there’s no reason we can’t cause a surprise.”