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Studley start new season with FA Cup clash

STUDLEY start their season with an FA Cup tie at Coventry United tomorrow (Friday) and manager Mike Fowler is confident his young players have the character to deal with the occasion.

The home side will be favourites having already played two games in the Premier North Division of the United Counties League, something which the Bees boss admits will be a huge advantage.

Fowler said: “This will be a million miles from pre-season. There is a pressure that comes with these kind of games and it needs to be managed and that is down to the characters in the squad, and I believe we have those characters.

Action from Studley’s friendly with Stratford Town. Photo: Mark Williamson
Action from Studley’s friendly with Stratford Town. Photo: Mark Williamson

“They (Coventry) will have had two competitive fixtures by then having played Saturday and then again on Wednesday night. It will be difficult for us because you can’t underestimate the competitive nature of fixtures so it will be an unknown for us going into Friday night. We know the team because we have played against them in pre-season but they will have evolved over the last few weeks just as we have.

“We don’t plan on watching them, we have decided to focus on ourselves. We know their players and we know they have a decent manager who likes to play football. Like us, they are a young group and they play a couple of different formations.”

Studley won their final friendly 5-0 at Paget Rangers on Saturday but Fowler said that will mean nothing in the cup tie.

He said: “It has been a typical pre-season but it’s all meaningless when it comes to results. It’s all about finding your rhythm but you can get to your first game and it all goes out the window because we might not have adapted to the competitive element. You try to replicate that as best as you can in pre-season but you can’t really get it.

“What you can do is get minutes in the tank and mentally I think we are in a very good place. We finished with a great win when we kept a clean sheet and scored lots of goals, we have had a beating which you need to keep your feet ono the ground, we’ve lost a game we’ve played well in so we’ve had that frustration element and we’ve also won a game that we didn’t play well in. There have been lots of ingredients so now it is about bringing it all together.”

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