‘Focus on football’: FC United’s Andy Walsh reassures fans before lucrative Hereford FA Cup tie

Exclusive by Matt Davies

FC United of Manchester general manager Andy Walsh has stressed the importance of focusing on the football ahead of the club’s massive FA Cup clash with Hereford United.

United face the Bulls at Gigg Lane tomorrow in the final qualifying round – the last step before clubs from Leagues One and Two enter the competition.

But Walsh, who admitted a parallel with the club’s cup run in 2010 where they eventually lost to Brighton and Hove Albion in a replay, insists the Rebels have their eye on the ball.

“Anybody involved in football who thinks about a game as anything else other than football, you’re on a loser,” said Walsh.

“No matter how pivotal a match might be in the season, or how financially lucrative a particular fixture might be, if you start focusing on those things and stop focusing on the football, you make the job a lot harder for yourself.

“Always focusing on the football and not on anything else – that’s a key message to our supporters and a key message our manager will give to our players in the dressing room as well.”

Hereford have made a slow start to the season with the club still settling in to life outside the football league after relegation, and face the prospect of administration.

The Rebel club will be all too aware of Herefords current situation, and Walsh insists they will not be under-estimated.

“It could really kick start their season,” he said.

“Comments in the press about the stability of club are even more of a motivation to get this right and I’m sure their management and their club will be focusing on that just as much as we are.”

Walsh admitted the club consider the first round to be the proper marker of the beginning of the FA Cup, but is aware of the differences between the two clubs.

Hereford remained a full-time club in the Conference after relegation whereas United’s squad is part-time players who have a balance between managing everyday life and football.

Walsh said: “Our lads are all working  and having to fit training around work and the other parts of their lives so we can’t be complacent,  and will certainly be focused on the job in hand on Saturday we would hope.”

“Everyone is geared up for tomorrow, it’s quite an exciting prospect to play in Hereford.

“We had a training session Thursday night which was a real lively session where all the lads were buzzing.”

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