Di Paola backs underdogs Horsham to be up to the test against Poole Town in the FA Cup

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola believes his side are underdogs going into their home FA Cup third qualifying tie against Poole Town on Saturday, but he has backed his side to be up to the test. Picture by Stephen Goodger.
Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola believes his side are underdogs going into their home FA Cup third qualifying tie against Poole Town on Saturday, but he has backed his side to be up to the test. Picture by Stephen Goodger.

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola is not expecting an easy game ahead of their FA Cup third qualifying round home tie against Poole Town on Saturday.

Their Southern League Premier South opponents sit in eighth in the league after relegation from the National League South last season and have defeated Shaftesbury and Cinderford Town in the previous rounds of the cup.

Ahead of their cup tie, Di Paola felt that his side were definite underdogs for this encounter but backed his side to be up for the test.

He said: “They are a good side and one of the favourites in that league. There is no easy game in the draw as there are a lot of quality teams.

“Every side in there has pedigree as they are still in the competition for a reason at this stage.

“They’re coming here expecting to win so the pressure is on them. Everything is on them to win the game.

“They’re the team that should win on paper as they came down from the National League South last year and they’re effectively a team two leagues above us.

“They’ve kept most of their team from the relegation so it will be a game where we will have to be at our best.

“We will prepare as well as we can and I know the boys will be up for it as they enjoyed winning the last round a lot. The progress you make in the cups brings a good feeling.”

This season’s FA Cup has also seen an increase in prize money on offer for teams who win their ties. After picking up wins over Carshalton Athletic, Corinthian, and Heybridge Swifts, the Hornets have taken home a cool £18,000.

With the incentive of an extra £15,000 up for grabs with victory over Poole, Di Paola praised the FA for helping clubs financially at grassroots level.

He added: “Fair play to the FA. They get a lot of criticism for a lot of different reasons and this is a good move.

“The money is a massive help to all clubs. We have won £18,000 so far and it’s great for the FA to do that.

“It’s how to look after grassroots as I do not necessarily agree with grants all the time, in my view, it’s better to rewards teams with results in this way.”