ACCRINGTON captain David Ormerod admits he is trying to keep a calm head while those around him are losing theirs in dreams of Worsley Cup final glory.
Accrington are in the semi-finals of the cup on Sunday at Burnley as they look to win only their fourth ever Worsley Cup - and first since 1986.
But skipper Ormerod admits he is trying to keep his feet on the ground as the excitement mounts at Thorneyholme Road.
"Everyone is talking about Sunday’s semi-final and I can understand it to a point but we also have a league game at Colne tomorrow," said Ormerod.
"You can sense the buzz around the clubhouse and some think the Worsley Cup represents the best chance of silverware this season but I am still hoping we are in with a shout of the league and if we are there or thereabouts in August then you never know.
"All the talk is of Sunday - of how many people are going to Burnley, what the weather will be like, that they hope it will be a good day, but I keep telling everyone we need to concentrate on Colne first.
"We still have the league to look out for as well as the cup."
Ormerod, who won the Worsley Cup with Bacup in 1993, admitted those are words he never really thought he would utter this season with Accrington battling for silverware on two fronts.
They have struggled at the wrong end of the table in the last few years and not had a decent cup run for a while.
"It has been a fantastic season," continued the captain. "I know at the start most people were talking about a mid-table position and some people say our side at the moment is a flash in the pan and not as good as the side who won the cup in 1986.
"But that only increases our resolve and we have grown in confidence as the season has gone on."
Accrington would have liked to play on their home ground but the draw instead gave them a trip to Turf Moor.
"It is disappointing being away but it is a good ground, it is not far from us and there is a bit of rivalry between the sides.
"It has been won one lost one against them in the league so far this season so there is everything to play for."
He admits there might be a touch of nerves - even from the most experienced of the Accrington players.
"Graham Lloyd has played at finals at Lord’s, played for England and Lancashire but still gets a bit nervous before he bats.
"You can tell, just before he goes in, he is a bit edgy despite being usually laid back.
"And he will probably be a bit more nervous on Sunday because he is passionate about the club and wants to do well.
"It would mean a lot to him - as it would to all the players as a lot haven’t experienced such success before.
"We know though, the cup is about one day - and maybe one performance.
"It can be an outstanding performance by an amateur or a professional who takes wickets or gets 100 and we have to hope it happens to us on Sunday."
Ormerod, as skipper, does have some serious thinking to do as injuries could decimate his squad. Jimmy Hayhurst is unable to bowl for the rest of the season due to a back injury while pro Roy Silva has been having treatment on a hamstring and shoulder injury this week.
"It means I have some tough decisions and the pro will only be selected if he is at full strength. He has to be able to bowl at 100 per cent.
"With having to have five bowlers, we are one short with Jimmy out but that gives others a chance. Simon Hanson hasn’t had a lot of bowling this season but he is more than capable - there are options."
The skipper is hopeful Sri Lankan Silva will make it as he has played a big part after taking some time to settle, in his first time in England.
"His English is coming on now and people love him at the club. I think, as it was his first time in England, it took some time to get used to the culture and the life. But he socialises now and he has got more used to the cricket over here.
"He has got a few big knocks, took a number of wickets and he is only happy when he is a big player for us - so a cup win would mean a lot to him."
And Ormerod will be hoping wicketkeeper Matt Wilson can continue to shine. He is top of the stumpings in the Lancashire League this season and Ormerod cannot lavish enough praise on the former skipper.
"He is one of the unsung heroes and I think he is the best wicket-keeper/ batsman in the league.
"It is like last weekend, he dislocated his finger, went in at the break and we straightened it and he went back out. He has been brilliant for us."
Although Ormerod is not looking too far forward a final thought has flickered through his mind.
Sky commentator David Lloyd, 61, has made two appearances for Accrington this season and the former England and Lancashire batsman wants more.
"He has made noises about coming back. We will have to see. What a story that would be if David Lloyd scored the winning runs in the Worsley Cup final. That would be something."