Baillie: No pressure on us in Town’s Trophy history-maker

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Jamie McAteer faces a fitness test before the fixture against AFC Fylde. Photo: Steve Wood.

FOOTBALL

THOMAS Baillie joked that he would fancy his in-form Stratford Town side against Manchester United, such is the confidence and belief within the squad as they prepare for their biggest-ever game in the FA Trophy.
Town, having climbed into the play-offs zone in the Evo-Stik South Premier Central in midweek, now play in the first round of non-League’s FA Cup for the first time with a trip to AFC Fylde.
The National League side have ambitions of getting into the Football League and boss Dave Challinor has said they will field a first team, rather making wholesale changes.
But Town insist they will embrace the challenge with gusto.
Baillie saluted the growing spirit within the squad and the last two performances – an stoppage-time win against Barwell and sensational victory with ten-men to outclass Tamworth on Tuesday night – has also enhanced the togetherness.
“I would fancy my chances if we were playing against Manchester United on Saturday,” smiled Bailie. “That’s just the way I am.
“But Saturday and then Tuesday night have certainly set things up nicely to face Fylde.
“We are the underdogs on Saturday, we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“All the pressure is on them. They are expected to win and they are expected to win well.
“I think it will be the first game in the last four or five weeks when there has been no pressure on us. But we are not going up there just to make up the numbers. The lads in the changing room are going all out to get a result.
“We’ve seen plenty of David and Goliath scenarios over the years. We want to go out and put in a good performance, for the team, for the fans and for the club.”
Tow’s main injury worry will be defender Jamie McAteer, who came off at half-time on Tuesday with a groin strain.
He was being checked out at training last night.
“He wanted to carry on on Tuesday night but we didn’t want to risk anything,” said Baillie. “I would rather him miss one half of football, than miss four weeks. We will assess him before the game.”

Don’t miss our interview with midfielder Ross Oulton in this week’s Herald.