Friday, January 26, 2007

Judgement Day!


JUDGEMENT Day has arrived, as far as Nigel Coates is concerned.

Colne players will have nowhere to hide when FC United come rolling into town tomorrow.

And the Reds boss has urged his players not to be overawed by the occasion.

The First Division title favourites are the visitors at Holt House in the third round of the D-Zine League Challenge Cup, with a revised kick-off time of 2 p.m.

But Coates is adamant his side are capable of ripping-up the form book.

He said: "It's not like we haven't done it before!

"We are a side who tend to do well in big games, and when the odds are against us.

"That is a trend that will need to continue tomorrow, because they will be favourites without question.

"We couldn't have been handed a more tougher task, apart from being drawn away to them.

"But there isn't a team in this competition that we are not capable of beating.

"All it is is 90 minutes of football, and anything can happen on the day."

And he's right – just ask AFC Wimbledon.

Three years ago, Colne upset massive odds to come away from Kingsmeadow with a victory in the FA Carlsberg Vase.

And Coates added: "We were massive underdogs that day, but we proved that it is only about what happens on the day.

"The atmosphere tomorrow won't be as hostile as it was down there, but I know all the lads will be just as up for it.

"If one or two don't turn up then we might be in trouble, so it is up to the players not to shy away.

"At the end of the day, it is a cup game, and we want to progress.

"But I've seen them a couple of times recently, and they are no mugs.

"They were a good side when we played them last season, and they have identified where they needed improvement.

"But then again, any side with Stuart Rudd in it is going to be strong.

"He has played at this level for six years, and has scored massive amounts of goals every season.

"He will be the one to watch, as will Rory Patterson, and they have formed a good partnership."

He added: "Despite all that, we know we are more than a match for them.

"People will say we beat them last year, and they are right, but this is a completely different side to then, as are we.

"We can't go into the game dwelling on that result last year, we just have to go out there and give it our all.

"We know that if we play to the levels we know we can, then we are more than capable of a result."

And the Reds should be full of confidence after a 1-1 draw at title-chasing Nantwich last week: "I thought we were a bit suspect in the first half, and gave them a bit too much respect.

"We started okay, but they slowly took a foothold in the game and got their goal.

"We weren't really at it in the opening period, and I don't think we could complain about being behind.

"But in the second half, it was extremely open, and it was a great spectacle.

"We could have had three in the second half, but then again, so could they.

"And to be fair, they probably had the more clear-cut opportunities, because ours were more from long range.

"But we got what we deserved, we were more than good value for a point.

"And it was nice to get something from there because Nantwich have been one of our bogey sides in recent years."

Tickets are still available for tomorrow's clash.

It will be an all-ticket affair, priced at £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions, with tickets available on the gate.

Stand tickets are available, priced at £6, with these supporters being granted access to the bar area.

Due to the number of spectators expected on the day, the club will be restricting the amount of people into the bar area before and during the game.

The club are also hoping to have arrangements in place with Colne and Nelson Rugby Club, to allow travelling supporters the use of their facilities.