Horsham boss Di Paola fully focused on FA Cup clash despite upcoming league fixture

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Steve Robards.
Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Steve Robards.

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola insists the FA Cup game this Saturday is 'huge' for his side as they look to continue their early season form.

Horsham travel to London-based side Tower Hamlets in the preliminary round of the FA Cup, and Di Paola is keen to continue his team's unbeaten run so far this season and progress to the next round.

Hornets manager Di Paola admits the FA Cup needs no introduction, and that he wants his side to perform 'as well as they can' as they begin their cup campaign.

Regarding their opening FA Cup tie, he said: "We will respect Tower Hamlets. We'll go down there and respect them and I'm sure it will be a massive game for them in the sense that it's the FA Cup.

"The FA Cup is the FA Cup. It's no different for us than it is to them. The FA Cup is a huge thing for anyone. It's going to be a game we treat with massive respect and we want to do as well as we possibly can. I'm just thinking about Saturday."

Di Paola is adamant that the tie won't be taken lightly despite a league fixture clash Lewes just two days later on bank holiday Monday, with his mindset being never to look past simply the next game.

The manager continued: "I'm a big believer of thinking about one game at a time. It's a corny thing to say, but as soon as you start getting ahead of yourself, you think that you've cracked it because you've had a good result.

"It's like being on a football pitch. You have to think of your next action. I don't know who we've got after Folkestone next Saturday. If you start thinking too far ahead you take your eye off the important bit, which is the game coming up.

"Once we get Saturday out of the way, regardless of how it goes, we'll have a little look about Monday's game and see where we are from that."

Horsham travel to Lewes in the BetVictor Premier Division on January 26 with the hosts yet to win a game, but that fixture remains at the back of Dominic Di Paola's mind with the FA Cup tie being the immediate concern.

When asked about his plans for that league clash with Lewes, he said: "Once we get Saturday out of the way, regardless of how it goes, we'll have a little look about Monday's game and see where we are from that.

With football, especially at this level, we could completely end up having to change things on Monday for whatever reason. It's not like the pro game where you've got a squad of 23 and you know they're all available and they'll be able to train. There's all sorts of factors that come in at this level."

Avoiding defeat over the long weekend would stretch the Hornets' unbeaten run to five in all competitions, and would constitute an excellent start to life in the BetVictor Premier.